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Sauk Valley College 

in Memory of 

Oscar Lindquist 


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This work has been prepared at the solicitation of many 
of the pioneer settlers and prominent citizens of the County. 
The materials have not proved abundant. So brief has been 
the existence of our County ; so quiet and uneventful its 
career ; so little of exciting adventure or unusual experience 
have the annals of its early settlement afforded, that the task 
of writing its history has been like that of writing the biogra- 
phy of some vigorous but common-place country lad who is 
yet in his teens. Yet, there is much in the early experience 
of the first settlers of the County that we, their successors 
and descendants, should not willingly suffer to pass into ob- 
livion. And, it seemed important that the work of collecting 
and recording it should be done without delay. For many 
of the first settlers were fast passing into senility or dropping 
into the grave, and the interesting story of the toils and trials, 
the joys and sorrows, the gloomy tragedies and gay comedies 
that made up their history, lived only in the uncertain memo- 
ries of the participants, — only in the recollection of a class 
of men who were rapidly passing away. 

The military history of the County, — the story of the ser- 
vices rendered by its brave boys in blue in defence of the 
Nation against the Great Rebellion, have been found a mine 
of historic wealth, so rich, so extensive, that the limits of the 
work have permitted only a partial exploration. Few knew, 
or adequately appreciate, the extent of the service that our 
brave boys rendered in that grand struggle for the preserva- 
tion of the life of the Nation ; and this, it seemed, must soon 
pass into obscurity, or live only in the uncertain, perhaps con- 
tradictory, remembrance of the participants in its stirring 


To rescue these facts from an undeserved oblivion ; to 
gather and fix these ephemeral incidents before they were 
gone forever ; to give our citizens a knowledge of events of 
interest in its past career and present situation ; to give to the 
world some information, not only of its history, but of its 
present resources and future prospects ; to render a fitting 
tribute to the valor and devotion of its gallant boys in blue 
who nobly bore its banners upon the bloody battle-field, or, as 
martyrs to their love of country, bravely died in its defence ; to 
encourage in our citizens an esprit die corps, a pride in the 
name and fame of the County in which they have made homes, 
such has been the purpose of this work; such its object and 
design. If this shall have been so accomplished as to meet 
the approval of its people, its author will be more than satis- 
fied. For its many defects and omissions, he would beg the 
indulgence of its readers. Those who would view the work 
with an unkindly critical eye, could hardly appreciate the 
difficulties of the task of determining exact facts of occur- 
rences long passed, in the midst of conflicting testimony, or 
of doing perfect justice to all who have borne a share in the 
work of reclaiming the County from its native wildness, and 
building it up to its present state of prosperity and enlighten- 
ment. The author has striven to make a faithful record, noth- 
ing extenuating, nor setting down aught in malice. With the 
hope that its readers may take in its perusal some share of that 
interest which he has taken in its preparation, it is committed 
to the candid, and it is hoped, kindly judgment of the people 
of DeKalb County. 

Note. — A large number of soldiers of DeKalb County did gallant service in the Sec- 
ond Illinois Artillery, under General Stolbrand, and Captains J. W. Lowell and H. C. 
Whittemore; but the history of those batteries, promised in the prospectus of this 
work, appears to have been lost in the course of transmission by mail, and could not 
be replaced in time for publication. Numerous irritating typographical errors appear. 
The author, residing at a distance from the place of publication, was unable to review 
some portions of the proof. The reader will probably be able to correct most of them, 
and it is hoped to excuse them; but it may be well" to mention that the first line on 
page 89 should be read as the last ; that the last word on page 479 should be Corinth, 
instead of Lyndon, and that the headings on pages 489 and 491 should be DeKalb in- 
stead of Sycamore, and on page 289 should be Tenth, instead of Thirteenth Illinois 





Geographical description of the County. .Its geology. .Origin of the 
prairies. 33 



Settled by the French. .New France. .Ceded to Great Britain. .Prov- 
ince of Quebec. .Conquered bv T General Clarke. .County of Illinois in 
the State of Virginia. .Ordinance of 1787. .AVar of 1812. .The Vinsan 
Legislator. .Divided from Indiana. .Admittance as a State. .Kaskas- 
kia. .Vandalia. .Slavery in Illinois. .The Illinois Canal. .Galena.. 
The Suckers. .First Black Hawk war.. Second Black Hawk war. . 
Battle at Stillman's Run. .Dixon. .Massacres. .Battles. .Internal im- 
provements—County ot DeKalb. 43 



Their personal appearance. .Characteristics. .Their Villages in this 
Vicinity. .Burial places.. Corn fields. .Hunting. .Marriage. .Life of 
Old Shaobona. .Tecumsehs aid. .Black Hawk's enemy. .His services 
to the Whites. .Smoke. .Pokanoka. .Family discipline. .Shabbona dis- 
possessed. '>'■'> 





Immigration. .Pre-emption and claims . .Disputes. .Fights. .Division of 
claims. .Convention of the People. .Constitution and by-laws. .Suits 
. .Stark and Barron — McLenathan and Mason — Mann of Burlington 
• .The Lynchers tried. 67 



Horse Stealing. .Brodie's Grove. . Worden's discoveries. .Driscoll's Grove 
. .Gleasons. .Oregon burned, , How to get a verdict.. The Lynching 


LRC 43G00 



club. .Captain Long's Mill burned .. Daggett and Powell .. Captain 
Campbell's army. .Embassy from Judge Ford. .Gathering of the Ban- 
dits.. Murder of Campbell. .The country roused .. Capture of the 
Driscolls. .Trial at White Rock. .The whisky. .Prisoner shot.. Trial 
of Taylor Driscoll. .Who was the Assassin. 78 



Grave robbing at St. Charles. .James Lovell's discovery. .The watch 
. .The pursuit. ..The robbers arrested. .A vacant grave. .To Richard's 
Institute. .The lock of golden hair. .Richard's brutality. .The country 
in arms. .March to St. Charles.. An angry altercation. .Assault on 
the Institute. .Its Defenders shot. .The building riddled. .No corpses 
. .A night Conference. .A Retreat. .Raising the body.. It is returned 
. .Arrests by both parties. 95 




Organization.. In Camp at Dixon.. Field and Staff. At Chicago. .To Louis- 
ville. .Great march to Frankfort. .To Shelby vide. .Bowling Green. . 
Scottsville. . Postage currency.. Changes.. To Nashvil'e.. Pappy Ward. 
Murder.. March to Lookout.. Lost in a cave. General Hioke.. Battle of 
Resaca.A rebs letter. To Kingston and Burnt Hickory. A Fight. Death 
of Surgeon Potter. .Fight at Golgotha. .At Marietta. .Battle of Peach 
Tree Creek. .Terrible scenes. .How the rebs did'nt gather acorns— 
JMege of Atlanta-— The dead and wounded. .Herman Furness' adven- 
ture. .Atlanta captured. .Colonel Dustin in command of a Division. . 
Other changes.. Off for Savannah. .Atlanta burned. .Contrabands 
and Bummers. .Madison and Milledgville. .Railroads destroved. .Fun 
and Foraging. .Vinum Antimonia. .Savannah Off again.. Committee 
of the whole on the State of South Carolina. .Bummers in clover.. 
Forty days more. .North Carolina. .Battle of Averysboro. .Gallantry 
of the One Hundred and Fifth. .AtGoldsboro. .Richmond Surrenders 
..Johnson Surrenders. .On to Richmond and Washington. .Grand 
Re view.. Home again. .Generous Pittsburg. .Shabby Chicago.. The 
Roster. 113 


Cavalry needed. . Colonel Farnsworth Commissioned. .The rally. .At St» 
Charles. .To Washington. .Greetings on the route. .Farnsworth's 
Big Abolition Regiment.. At Meridian Hill. .Grand 'Reviews. .No 
fight. .Camp Sumner. .Five Hundred Sick. .To Alexandria. .General 
Montgomery. .How the rebs lnvedus. .Spring opens. .On to Manassas 
—Wooden Guns. .Scouting. .Back to Alexandria. . Siege of Yorktown 
. .Williamsburg. .Black Creek Bridge. .Richmond in sight. .Recon- 
noisances and Picketing. .Fair Oaks. .Captain Farnsworth's dinner 
party.. Page 220.. The Seven Days Fight. .Change of base. .The 
horrors of the retreat.. At Haxal's and Harrison's. .Malvern Hill.. 
Back to Yorktown and Alexandria. .Fight at Barnsville. .George M 
Roe. .Frederick City.. South Mountain. .Boonesboro. .-Antietam-. . 
The Rebel army escape.. Dash into Shepherdstown. .Memorable 
march to Martinsburg — Alter Jeb Stuart— Page 230— -Markham Station 



Recruiting— -Company C— -Its Officers— -Field and Staff—To St. Lonis 
and Alton— -Regiment divided-— To St. Joseph— -Guerrillas attacked 

Dashing Phil McRae Jefferson City— -Rolla— Cuba— -General 

Ewmg— -Race for the Capitol —The Price raid-- -Defence of the Cap- 
itol— -Honor and danger—Price's Retreat— -After him — Boonesville— - 
Mine Creek— -Fifty-six hours in the Saddle— -Six Hundred horses lost 
-—Jack Houghton —Price Escapes— -Cape Girardeau— -Jeff. Thompson 
surrenders — To Kansas City— -Fort Larned— -Fort Leavenworth— 
Trouble in Camp— -Roster. 252 


Organization— -At the Capture of Donelson— -Fort Henry— -Corinth— - 

Shiloh— Half the Regiment killed and captured Captain Rutisthauser 

-Lieutenant Moxom— Sergeant Wheaton's adventure-— The Union 
Brigade -Cape Kittell- --Battle of Corinth— -Sergeant J. C. Wright 

-—To Springfield To Vicksburg Raid on Meridian— Capture 

of Fort DeRussey . . -Up Red River. .Sabine Cross Roads. .Pleas- 
ant Hill. .The Fifty-eighth save the army. .Still retreating. .Damming 
Red river. .Yellow Bayou. .Desperate charges. .One hundred and ten 
men killed and wounded . . Re-enlisted . . Fight at Columbia . . Fight with 
Forest at Tnpello. .To Missouri. .The Price raid. .To Northville and 
Eastport-. .New Orleans-. .Mobile-. .Montgomery-. .Home again-. . 
Roster. • 2(JH 


Captain Carr's company. .The first company raised in Illinois. .To Cairo 
. .Fortifying and garrison duty. .Re-organized for three years. .Raid 
in Kentucky. .Sykesville. .Birds Point. .Captain Carr killed. .Island 
No. 10.. Siege of Corinth. .Booneville. .Fighting our way to Nash- 
ville. .Besieged. .No rations. .Built Fort Negley. .Campaign through 
Alabama and Mississippi. .Wheeler's cavalry. .Mission Ridge. .Pursu- 
ing Hardee. .A midwinter march without blankets, shoes or tents.. 
to Chattanooga. .Rossvillc. .Veteranized— To Atlanta. .Grand march 
to the Sea. .Crossing the Salkehatchie. .Forty men lost. .Gallantry at 
EdistcTo Columbia, Cheraw, Fayetteville and Goldsboro. .Bat- 
tle of Bentonville.. Hardee whipped. .Sixty men lost. .To Raleigh, 
Richmond, and the grand review. t}84 


Enlistments discouraged. .Sandwich and Sycamore companies accepted 
—Premiums for places— Gray uniforms— Banner presented— At Dixon 
—To Rolla— March to Springfield— Fremont's Flying Infantry— Back 
to Rolla— Jesting and death— To Pea Ridge— Indian corpses— Terrible 
march to Helena— Assault upon Vicksburg— Death of General Wy- 
man— Arkansas Post-Jackson— Siege of Vicksburg-On Chattanooga 
—Capture of Lookout Mountain— Ringold Gap— Pat Riley— Death of 
Major Bushnell and Captain Blanchard. .Meridian Station. . Sixty - 
eix men captured. .Resume. .Roster. 2U2 



Recruiting. .Consolidation of three Regiments. .At Peoria. .The officers 
..To Glasgow.. Skirmishing at Celina. .Camp Boyle .. Pursuit of 
Colonel Hamilton. .We capture John Morgan. .Twenty-one hundred 
miles ride. .Join Burnside. .Surrender of Cumberland Cap. .Guarding 
Railroads. .Fight at Zollicofter, .At Blountville. .Dog-tents. .Siege of 
Knoxville. .Driven. .Bean Station. .Dandridge. .Thomas' Legion. . 
Death of Horace Capron. .Cittico. .General Stoneman. .On Atlanta. . 
The Great Stoneman Raid. .Seven dys and nights in the Saddle.. 
Massacred asleep. .The Regiment destroyed. .Major Davidson. .Fight- 
ing Forest. .Pursuit of Bragg. .Mustered out. 208 


Company K. .Poster. .To Tipton. .Terrible march to Springfield. .Two 
hundred men disabled. ..Winter at Smithton. .To St. Charles. .Fort 
Holt. .Columbus, .island No. 10.. Siege of Corinth. .Booneville. . 
Captain Butts. .Battle of Farmington... of Columbia. .Stone River. . 
22*5 men lost. .The Chattanooga campaign. . Chickamauga . .184 men 
lost. .Mission Ridge, 45 men lost. .East Tennessee campaign. .Veter- 
anized. .Home. .Atlanta campaign.. Ten battles, 116 men lost.. To 
Bridgeport, Chattanooga, Athens and Pulaski. .Fight at Spring Hill 
and Franklin, 169 men lost. .Battle of Nashville. .To Decatur, Blue 
Springs, Johnsonville, Texas, Port Lavaca. .Mustered out January 
3d, 1866.. Roster. 318 


Organized. .At Geneva. .To St. Louis and St. Joseph. .Exhausting 
march to Quincy :To Kentucky. .Colonel Sweeney. .Fort Donaldson 
. .Guarding prisoners. .Shiloh. .Major Stark. . Death of Captain Knapp 
. .One-third of the Regiment lost.. Siege of Corinth. .Sickness and 
sufferings. .Battle of Corinth.. To Iuka and Burnsville. .Corinth. . 
Gallantry of the Fifty-second. .Hard marches. .Bear Creek.. After 
Forrest. .Exhausting marches. ..To Pulaski. .Veteranized and home 
. .To Nashville and Chattanooga. .Siege of Atlanta. .To Savannah. . 
South Carolina. .Fall of Richmond. .Surrender of Johnson. .Wash- 
ington, Louisville, Chicago. .Roster. 328 


Company F, its Officers. .To Paducah. .Guarding communications.. 
The campaign ended.. Home again. .Roster. 343 


Company H, its Officers. .To Paducah. .Guarding communications.. 
The Rebellion ended. .Home. .Roster. 345 



1832 — Maxell of General Scott--— Encampment at Kingston - -Battle o* 
Stillman's Run— -Encampment at Paw Paw- 348^ 

iy;^3 — Exploration into Southern Portion of the Territory— -Indians 
hostile. 349 

1834— -Explorations— Hollcnback— -Claims at Squaw Grove and Pampas 
-—First house— Mail route to Dixon— Sebrees. 349 


1835. .Immigrants pour in—Indians. .Mode of traveling — Mode of life . . 
Making claims. .First houses. .Hope and Ambition... The Claim Asso- 
ciation—First Justices— -Part of La Salle County. .Religious services 
established. .Winter of is 5. . Shabijona Grove. .Peter Lamois and the 
Whisky trade. 350 

1836. .A year of gloom. .Provisions scarce .. Clothing worn out. Sick- 
ness. .Election of Madden. ..Chicago. .Kane and DeKalb. .towns 
started. 358 

1837. .Act, creating DeKalb County.. Septennial wet season. .The finan- 
cial crash. .What Shabbonu says. .The new Villages. .C. Sharer &Co. 
Coltonville. .How the County was set off from Kane. .The first Elec- 
tion. .Officers chosen. .The County Court.. Its first acts. .Precincts 
created. .The County Seat located. .The struggle. .Why Orange was 
selected. 360 

1838.. First Circuit Court at Coltonville. .Names of Jurors. .Tavern 
licenses. .Regulation of prices. .The first County tax. .Election of 
Commissioners. .Attractions of Coltonville. .Captain Barnes' Enter- 
prise. .Madden and Col ton. .Act for removal passed. .Courting and 
the County Seat. .Removal voted down. .The first Criminal. .County 
Town Surveyed. .Coust proceedings. .Deer Stalking. 374 

1839. .Sickly season. .New Court House built.. The Mansion House.. 
Removal of Court. .Elections. .The Polish grant. .Another act for 
Removal of the Seat of Justice. .Carried. .Kellogg arrested. .Taxes 
raised. 383 

1840. .Increase of population. .Poverty of the People.. Life at Squaw 
Grove. .Thieves and counterfeiters. .The Nunnery. .Election of Har- 
rison. .The Courts. .County Seat voted back again. .Winthrop Love- 
lace. .Boarders and prisoners. 385 

1841.. The first Lawyer. .Elections. .State road. .Terrible winter.. Six 
months good Sleighing. .Starvation. .500 Deer killed. 390 

1842. .First steel plows. .E. L. Mayo. .The County Town. .Three years 
Taxes. .The State and County bankrupt. .Rich Recorders. .Elections 
..Courts. 391 

1843. .County financiering. .Land comes in market. .Claim wars. .The 
County Town. .New State roads. .Genoa. 394 

1844. .The regular seven years flood. .Harvesting in the water. .County 
Elections. .County orders. 398 

1845. .Slow progress in settlement. .Debt and repudiation. .Claim wars 
. .No money; 399 

1846. .War with Mexico. .Captain Shepherds company. .Shabbona pre- 
cinct. .Financial situation. .County Officers and Justices elected.. 
First brick dwellings built. 400 

1847. .Improvement in finances. .Immigration. .Poverty. .The taverns 
crowded. .Elections. .Paupers. 

1848. .New Constitution. .Squaw Grove precinct created. .Wooster pre- 
cinct. .The old Court House. .A new one demanded. 402 

1849. .Contract for new Court House. .Size. .Donations to be paid back 
..The Subscribers. .Oft for California. .Officers elected. .Township 
Organization. .Salaries ot Officers. .Division of the County into 
Towns. .The original thirteen. .County tax. 403 


1850. .Town Government established. .First Board of Supervisors.. 
Names changed and why. .Court House completed. 406 

1851. .Inauguration ball. .The Septennial flood .. Two feet of snow I in 
April. .Poisonous wheat. .Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. . 
St. Charles plank road. 407 

1852. .Assessment. .Only 20,000 acres not entered. .Politics. .Combina- 
tions. .County Offices become valuable. .Elections. .St. Charles & 
Mississippi Air Line. .First Agricultural Society. 408 

1853. .History of St. Charles & Mississippi Air Line. .The Dixon Rail- 
read. .Purchase of County Poor Farm. .Buena Vista Village. 409 

1854. .First Newspaper published .The Maine Liquor Law issue. .Vote 
of the County. .Lands all entered. .Newark Station. .Poli'ical Mass 
Meeting. .Organization of the Republican party. .County Fair. . 
Elections. .Assessments. .Swamp Land Grant. .DeKalb Village.. 
County tax. .Afton. 413 

1855. .The County property. .Population of the towns and villages. 416 

1856.. A year of prosperity. .Expansion. .County Jail built.. Swamp 
Lands. .Malta. ..taxation. .Terrible storm. 417 

1857. .Commercial convulsion. .General bankruptcy. .Election. .Milan 
..Newspapers. 419 

1858. .Papers in the County.. Hard times.. A meteor. .Taxes. .The 
Septennial flood. .Sycamore A Cortland Railroad. .Teachers fnstitute 
I lard times . . Taxes suspended . . Tornado . . Meteor. 421 

1859. Hard times. Drought. Debt. Suits. Paupers. Dow vs Elhvood. 425 

1860. .A notable year. .Bountiful crops. .Presidential Election. .Great 
Mass Meeting. .Wide-awakes. .Exciting political contest. 426 

1861. .The Great War. .Patriotic devotion. .Union of Parties. .Stump- 
tail currency. .Census. 428 

1862. .Gloom and depression. .Enrollment for draft. .Assessment. .Elec- 
tion. .Swamp Land Grant sold. .History of the grant. 430 

18!i:j. .Pecuniary prosperity. .Fire proof County Offices. .Beautiful 
School Houses. .600,000 troops called out. .Volunteers enough. .Bounty 
Legislation. .Jurisdiction of the County Court. .Sorghum culture. 435 

1864. .The great January storm. .Return of the veterans. .H. W. Fay. . 
William Young. .Destruction of shade trees. .Money abundant. .The 
Wheat crop destroyed. .More troops called. .County bounties. .The 
draft comes at last. .Quotas tilled. .Elections. .Union League. .Rail- 
road monopolies. .First foreign appointment. 435 

1885.. The County Seat contest. .Quotas of towns demanded. .The 
draft. .Heavy taxation. .Peace at last. .Men furnished by each town 
. .Fall in gold. .Wet season. .Elections. .Census. 438 

1866. .Prosperity. .Elegant churches built. .Desolating hail storm.. 
Cholera. .Failure of Sycamore Bank. .Election. .Taxation. .Bounties 
on wolves. 441 

1867. .Great prices for produce. .Rise in lands. .The Half Shire. .Man- 
ufactories. .Election. .Burglars. .Taxation. 444 

1868 . . Statistics . . Election . . Conclusion. 447 




Genoa. .Its attractions. .First settlers. .Thieves and counterfeiters .. E. 
P. Gleason's history. .Mass meeting in 1838.. Origin of the name.. 
Largest Village in the County. .Population. .Genoa in the war. .Her 
martyred dead. .Supervisors. 450 

Kingston. .The Indians. .First white settlers. .Poverty of early times 
..How they lived. .Population. .Fearful tornado. .Luke Penwell. . 
George Magenety killed.. Her soldier boys.. The dead. .Numerous 
officers . . Supervisors. 455 

Franklin. .Woods, streams and quarries. .First settlers. .Hicks' Mills. . 
Kishwaukee City. .Poverty. .Dr. Hobart. .Land in market in 1838. . 
General Tom Humphrey . .Other officers.. Dead ot the Rebellion.. 
Tornado. .The killed. .Indianidol. .Population. .Supervisors. 463 

Mayfield. .Its natural attractions. .First settlers. .Coltonville. .Indian 
village. .Dr. Madden. .A distillery. .Sarpents and other game. .Claim 
wars. .Population. .Boys in Blue. .The roll of Honor. .First religious 
meetings. .Supervisors. 463 

South GiiOAE..Its soil and surface. .Owens' Creek. .Indian trail.. 
Orput's and Driscoll's Grove. .Mills. .Its inhabitants. .The Driscolls 
..First settlers. .Schoolmaster By ers. .Schools now. .How to build 
School Houses cheaply. .Churches. .Camp meeting. .Hell of a Christ- 
ian.. Post Office. .Hotels. .Profits of farming. .Hercules helps.. Fine 
houses. .Noble farms. .Favorite crops. .Population. .Its men in the 
Army.. Its Supervisors. 467 

Sycamore. .Timber and streams .. Norbo .. Charters .. The New York 
Company. .Bursted bubbles.. The old Town of Sycamore. .Captain 
Barnes. .Sycamore in 1840. .Churches. .Lawyers. .Population. .Syca- 
more in 1855. .James' Block. .Sycamore & Cortland Railroad. .Lead- 
ing citizens. .Supervisors.. .Incorporation of the village. 475 

Cortland. .Indian village. .The prisoners. .Ohio Grove. .Palatial Hotel 
Luce's Corners.. The railroad village.. The population. . Richland... 
Pampas. .Public schools; the first and the last.. Her soldiers. .The 
roll of her martyrs. .Captain R. A. Smith. .Supervisors. 482 

DeKalb. .Woodland and streams. .First settlers. .Troops in camp.. 
Jenks & Co.. ..Russell Huntley's claims. .First Election. .Hard times 
..DeKalb for sale cheap.. Town organized. .First called Orange.. 
The life giving Railroad. .Magical growth. .1857. . Agricultural Society 
grounds. .School Houses. .Churches. .Newspapers. .Lawyers. .Bank 
. .Leading citizens. .Supervisors. .Soldiers. .Population 486 

Malta. .Settled in 1851. .Station established in 1854. .Milton. .Etna. . 
Storm of 1857. .Steam Mill. .Recent rapid growth. .Future prospects 
. . Census . . Soldiers . . Supervisors. 493 

Milan.. The youngest town.. Lewis McEwen..Deer and wolves.. 
Rapid settlement. .Advance in the price of lands. .School Section and 
Schools. .Town Hall. .Norwegians. .The willows. .Population. .As- 
sesment of property. .Its Soldiers. 494 

AFTON..The first emigrants mistake. .Sweet Afton.. First settlers.. 
Organization as a town.. First town officers. .Its uniformly Noble 
Supervisors. .Its Schools. .Its Churches. .Its Elections. .Its Population 
...Its w T ar record . .Its dead of the war. 496 


Clinton.. Its grove and streams. .First Inhabitants. .Its territory.. 
Selection of a name. .Population. .Schools. .Churches. .Claim wars. . 
Hard times.. Its martyred dead. .Captain Pritchard. .The Marsh 
Brothers and the Marsh Harvester. .The Supervisors. 499 

Pierce. .Sulphur springs. .Wheat raising. .Nativity of its inhabitants 
First settlers. .Schools. .Organization in 1853.. Its name. .Contribu- 
tions to the war. .Population.. .Supervisors. 501 

Squaw Grove . . The first town settled . . Origin of the name . . Sebree 
and other first settlers. .Mode of life. .Taxation. .First birth and 
death. .Schools. .Its present wealth. .Population. .Soldiers. .Super- 
visors. 506 

Paw Paw.. Natural characteristics. .First inhabitants. .Origin of its 
name . . Shabbona . . Waubonsie . . Le Clair . ..The banditti . . Bill Rogers 
. .Treasure trove. .Town organization. .First Election. .Supervisors. . 
Seminaries. .Churches. .Population. In the war of the Rebellion.. 
The dead. 508 

Victor. .Organization in 1853.. First immigrants. .The railroad.. 
Nativity of its population. .The Little Indian. .Leland. .Schools. . 
Population. .Its soldier boys. .Their dead. .Supervisors. 514 

So \ion auk. .Description. .First house in the County. .Early settlers.. 
Poverty and hardship. .Worship. .The mails. .The, railroad. .Sand- 
wich. .How started. .Manufacturing. .Its grain trade. .Its newspapers 
. .Its Churches. .Somonauk village. .Rapid growth. .Its war record. . 
Leading citizens.. .Underground railroad. 519 

Shabbona. .The Grove.. The Big Indian Creek.. Early prospeiity.. 
Old Shabbona. .Treaties. .Sells his reservation to Gates. .Sale void. . 
The sale at Dixon. .The Whispering Smith's attempt. .Investigation 
..First house.. First settlers .. Game — Sibiqua — Presest situation — 
Masonic — Its soldiery — The dead — The Supervisors 524 



The Geography and Geology of DeKalb County, with 
the Origin of the Prairies. 

The surface of our County of DeKalb has few marked 
peculiarities — few grand distinctive features. It contains no 
great and navigable rivers ; no elevated peaks, rising in 
majestic grandeur ; no mountain torrents, shrouded in foam, 
chafing in rocky channels ; no deep and narrow valleys, hem- 
med in on every side, and forming little worlds of their own ; 
no narrow and precipitous passes, winding through circuitous 
defiles ; no cavernous gorges, giving exit to pent-up waters ; 
no contorted or twisted strata, affording evidence of violent 
internal throes and gigantic overturnings. It is simply a 
plain parallelogram of rich rolling prairie, eighteen miles broad 
and thirty-six miles long, dotted with a few groves and watered 
by a few small streams. 

But the features of the landscape, although less bold than 
those of mountainous regions, are yet impressive and strongly 
marked. In the broad, billowy prairies, extending as far as 
the eye can reach, we have the element of vastness as in scarce 
any other land; we have a luxuriant sward of emerald green- 
ness, clothing the whole land, down to the very margin of the 



waters; we have meandering streams, clear as crystal, now 
smooth, quiet and glassy, then ruffled by winds or rapids ; we 
have clumps of trees, charming groves, disposed with an effect 
of beauty that might baffle a landscape gardener ; now crown- 
ing the grassy height, now clothing the green slope with their 
pleasing shade. From the gentle heights of the rolling prairies, 
the country, even before the hand of man had broken its 
surface, wore the aspect of cultivated meadows and rich 
pasture grounds, irrigated by frequent rivulets. 

The County occupies the high ground between the two 
w ell-known streams, the Fox and Rock rivers ; streams famous 
for their purity and beauty, which, rising in Wisconsin, both 
flow southwestwardly in a course nearly parallel, and empty, 
the Fox into the Illinois river at Ottawa, and the Rock into 
the Mississippi at Rock Island. The highest point between 
these rivers, and indeed, the highest between the lakes at 
Chicago and the Mississippi river, is said to be in the town 
of South Grove, in this County. 

The central portion of the County contains the least extent 
of timbered lands, and the fewest running streams. The 
northern and southern ends are better watered and timbered. 
The south branch of the Kishwaukee river is the largest of 
those streams. Upon all of the early maps of this County, 
and upon its first records, this stream is designated as the 
Sycamore river. Kishwaukee is said to be the Indian name 
for the Sycamore tree, and the river took its name from the 
fact, that when the country was first settled by the whites, a 
few scattered groups of those trees (very rare in the prairie 
region) were found upon its banks. 

This stream rises in the town of Afton, near the centre of 
the County, flows through DeKalb, Mayfield, Kingston and 
Franklin, about forty miles, entering the Rock river at Mil- 
ford, in Winnebago County. It has several branches, the 
largest of which, originating in Virgil, Kane County, flows 
through Cortland and Sycamore, and enters the main branch 
in Mayfield. Deer Creek in Genoa, Trimble's Run in King- 


ston, Owen's Creek in South Grove and Franklin, all minor 
branches of the same river, arc infinitely valuable to the farms 
which they "water, and have served a valuable purpose in 
furnishing protection to the scattering groves which always 
spring up on the prairies upon the eastern sides of the run- 
ning streams, sheltered there from the ravages of the annual 
prairie fires, driven by the prevailing westerly winds. Beside 
the banks of this main stream stretches one continuous forest, 
composed principally of white red and burr oak trees, liberally 
interspersed with the poplar, the maple, the butternut, the 
black-walnut, and the hickory. This grove constitutes the 
main source of supply for fuel, fencing and timber, for the 
land owners of all the northern half of the County, being 
owned in small lots of from one to twenty acres, by the farmers 
on the broad prairies on each side, some of whom live ten or 
even fifteen miles from their timbered lots, and resort to them 
only in the winter season, at which time their principal 
occupation is the accumulation of a supply of fencing and 
fuel for the next year's use. 

Broad, rolling prairies occupy almost the entire surface of 
the central portion of the County. The land is, perhaps, 
more rolling, — more rough, — than at the two extremities ; 
but only two or three small, isolated, natural groves broke 
the uniformity of the billowy prairie, before it was formed 
into farms and beautified by man with rows or little thickets 
of planted or transplanted timber. 

The first settlers of the country naturally made their 
claims in close proximity to the groves and streams ; and 
could hardly believe that the distant prairies would ever serve 
any other purpose than that of a vast range for flocks and 
herds. They were confident that no farmer could live and 
labor conveniently, farther than a mile or two from his tim- 
bered lots, and they regarded him as a visionary enthusiast 
who dared to predict that they would live to see it all settled 
and occupied by man. But the settlements gradually extended 
farther and farther out upon the prairies, and now the entire 


County is occupied, and scarcely a vacant spot of the wild 
prairie can be found throughout its entire extent. 

The settlers upon these farms remote from the groves, now 
claim that the soil is there more productive than in their closer 
vicinity, and observation seems to justify the claim ; but this 
superiority may be due to their having been more recently 
settled and subjected to fewer drafts upon their fertility, than 
those which have been longer cropped. 

Some of the wealthiest farmers and the most productive 
farms of the County are now found in this section of the 
County, which, twenty years ago, it was thought would never 
be occupied by residents. 

Although this central portion of the County is compara- 
tively rugged, yet no large streams are found there. The 
head waters of all the creeks in the County arc there formed 
in sloughs or swamps, which always connect one with another, 
until the united volume of their waters form brooklets, which 
flowing north and south ultimately become our larger creeks. 
The Biir and Little Indian Creeks have their origin near the 
southern boundary of these central towns, and in the town of 
Afton one handsome and never-failing stream gushes out from 
the low prairie with considerable size and force ; and flowing 
southwestwardly through the town of Squaw Grove becomes 
the Little Rock Creek. 

But the natural disadvantages of this scarcity of timber 
and of flowing streams in this section, are compensated by 
the possession of an important line of railroad, a portion of 
the great commercial artery between the Atlantic and Pacific, 
upon which the thriving villages of Cortland, DeKalb and 
Malta have sprung up ; villages which must ever be leading 
business places in DeKalb County. Thanks to the life-infus- 
ing influence of this great artery of trade, this portion of the 
County, has grown in wealth and population during the past 
ten years more rapidly than any other section, and its popu- 
lation must still rapidly become more dense. 

The six southern towns of the County, like the northern 


six, arc better watered and timbered than those which occupy 
the center. There are about four thousand acres of good 
timber in its several groves, embracing about one thirty-second 
of its entire surface, and so distributed that no farm in those 
towns is far removed from timbered lots. Handsome flowing 
streams are also abundant. It is as fertile and as beautiful a 
region as the sun shines upon. Tlte Little Indian and Big 
Indian Creeks water the towns of Shabbona and Paw Paw, 
while Shabbona Grove and Ross Grove furnish its timber. 

Somonauk and Squaw Grove are watered by the Little 
Rock and Somonauk Creeks and provided with timber from 
the grove which borders these streams. 

Upon the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroads have 
sprung up the two active, enterprising and well built villages 
of Sandwich and Somonauk. At Shabbona Grove and in 
the southwestern portion of Paw Paw have long been small 
villages, natural centers for the surrounding country which 
only need the life-giving influence of a railroad to make them 
among the largest in the County. 

The wdiole County is divided with mathematical precision 
into eighteen towns, laid out by the United States Govern- 
ment, each six miles square. 

Hardly a ledge of rocks pierces the surface in any part of 
the County. Some soft, inferior limestone is found in King- 
ston a few feet below the surface, and in Franklin is a quarry 
of the same that is converted into building lime. A similar 
quarry has been found in Afton, and in the southern part 
near the banks of the creeks it may be found cropping out 

But the w T hole County is, even for this prairie land, singu- 
larly and unfortunately destitute of rock suitable for building 
or for any other valuable purpose. Thinly scattered over its 
entire surface, however, are found rounded granite boul- 
ders, varying in size from that of a huge cannon ball to that 
which would weigh a ton or more. In the vernacular of the 
country they are called hard heads or nigger heads and are 


prized by the formers, who use them for underpinning barns; 
sometimes also for stoning their wells, and more rarely their 
house cellars. But few farms are so fortunate as to possess 
enough for these purposes. 


These singularly beautiful and fertile plains, destitute of the 
thick growth of timber with which nature has clothed most 
of the country, and so admirably fitted by nature for the 
immediate use of man, is a subject that has excited a vast 
deal of interest and inquiry and has given rise to a great 
many different theories. 

To give an intelligent opinion on their origin, some brief 
review of the commonly received theories of geology is 

The science of geology informs us that the earth, originally 
a fiery, nebulous mass, revolving in illimitable space about 
the sun, gradually became cooled at its surface and that at 
the present age, the globe, still seething with tumultuous fires 
within, is covered on its exterior by a rind of solid matter 
about ten miles in thickness, which, as compared to its entire 
diameter, is like a thin sheet of paper spread over a globe a 
foot in diameter. This surface cooled irregularly in rough 
corrugations ; the elevations constituting the mountains and 
continents, and the depressions, filled with the condensed 
vapors making the oceans and the valleys of the principal 
rivers. This surface was originally far more rough and irreg- 
ular than at present, and changes — alternate elevations and 
depressions, while the solid exterior was thinner — were more 
numerous than at this later a<ie. 

Those rocks which bear marks of having been originally in 
a fluid state are called igneous rocks and constitute the primary 
strata. Granite is the most common specimen of this class 
of rocks. 

Heat, frost and floods gradually crumble and wear away 
the irregularities of the surface and form from the disinte- 
grated mass a soil, which, stimulated by the high tempera- 


ture caused by the fires below, produced herbage and veget- 
able growths of enormous size. In the strata of rock formed 
at this period are found, not only shells and the simpler forms 
of animal life, but the remains of giant ferns sixty feet in 
height, with stalks or trunks three feet in circumference. 
Vines, palms, and all the flora of the present tropical regions, 
an hundred times increased in size, grew and flourished in 
the hot, moist atmosphere with a luxuriance almost incon- 
ceivable, and dying, produced a soil of incomparable richness, 
which in turn reproduced fresh and more gigantic forms of 
vegetable life. This rapid growth and equally rapid decay 
.soon formed beds of peaty soil of immense thickness, and the 
crust of the earth being at this time much thinner than now, 
and of course subject to more frequent disturbances and 
irruptions of the struggling internal fires, they, bursting 
forth, often buried with the enormous weight of the overturned 
strata these thick beds of vegetable matter, and by the aid 
of heat, converted them into those beds of coal, which now, 
brought to the surface, furnish man with an inexhaustible 
supply of the most valuable of fuel. In these coals we even 
now can readily trace the remains of plants and trees ; even 
the delicate foliage of the graceful ferns being still plainly 

As the earth grew older strange forms of animal life ap- 
peared. Amid the moist tropical lagunes gigantic beasts dis- 
ported. Enormous lizards, twenty feet in length, with bodies 
larger than the elephant's; reptiles, resembling no species 
now existing ; huge birds ; terrible serpents; monstrous fish ; 
strange compounds of all these species of animals ; many of 
them furnished with wings yet adapted to life in the water, 
together constituted the living inhabitants of the earth at this 
early period of its existence. Their remains are found imbed- 
ded in solid rock, often so distinct that their mode of life and 
the nature of the food on which they subsisted may be easily 
determined. Millions of years passed away. Animals of 
countless varieties lived, died, and even their species passed 


out of existence, amid the operation of the grand process of 
fitting the earth for the habitation of man. 

Strata on strata of rocks were formed by the slow process 
of disintegration of the elevated surfaces, through the agency 
of heat, floods and frost, aided by alternate elevations and 
depressions, and the re-formation of this mass into solid rock 
a gain, till we come at last to the diluvial or drift period ; the 
last geological era before man occupied the globe ; if indeed 
he had not during or before this period become its tenant. 

The greatest portion of this diluvial deposit consists of sand 
and gravel ; but tough, hard clay constituted no inconsiderable 
amount of it. 

The vegetation of this period differed but slightly from that 
of the present day. The position of the mountains, continents, 
rivers and oceans was substantially the same as at the present, 
which is termed the alluvial period ; although there have 
evidently since been some elevations and depressions of the 
surface. During this diluvial period, there seems to have 
suddenly occurred an era of intense cold throughout all the 
northern hemisphere. That it was a sudden change is shown 
by the perfect preservation to this time in the frozen mud of 
Siberia of numerous specimens of the elephant, rhinoceros, and 
other inhabitants of a warm climate, which are now found Avith 
the hide and even the flesh still visible ; and also by similar 
discoveries of the mammoth and mastodon in some parts of 
this continent. The changed climate was perhaps due to some 
sudden oscillation of the axis of the earth. Nearly all organic 
life was destroyed by this reduction of temperature, and gla- 
ciers were formed on mountains of moderate height. The 
northern regions of the earth became vast sheets of ice and 


snow, which, as now in polar regions, sent out their glaciers, 
by the natural force of expansion, nearly as far to the south 
as the gulf of Mexico. By changes of temperature these 
glaciers advancing and retreating as they do at the present 
time in the Alps and in the polar regions, broke fragments 
from the ledges of rock below, and grinding them upon the 


surface of the rock, rounded them into boulders. Ultimately 
the temperature became again permanently elevated; and the 
vast sheets of ice became equally vast currents of water, which 
floated off huge icebergs loaded with rocks, sand, gravel, clay, 
and fragments of trees. Floating toward the warmer regions 
of the south they gradually melted and deposited their debris 
upon the surface of the earth. Becoming fixed upon some 
accidental projection, large gravelly knolls and hills were 
formed from their deposits, and over the entire surface their 
boulders were scattered. In some natural crorjxes these ice- 
bergs would naturally accumulate, and rapidly liquefying, 
would deposit enough of their detritus to stop the passage of 
the great waters, and cause the formation of immense lakes 
which covered the country, perhaps for centuries of time, until, 
cither by some internal convulsion or perchance by the slower 
processes of ordinary causes, the dam thus formed became 
worn away, and the lakes floated off to the ocean. 

These prairies were undoubtedly at one time the bed of 
such a lake. The black soft mould which constitutes the 
surface soil is strongly impregnated with ulmic acid, a charac- 
teristic constituent of peat and swampy ground, and which is 
present in most vegetable manures. Beneath this is a foot or 
two, sometimes ten or fifteen feet, of reddish yellow clay often 
mixed with gravel ; then a stiff blue clay or hard-pan, and in 
or under this we often find well-preserved fragments of timber 
and the brush of forests ; sometimes pine, oftcner hemlock ; 
rarely tamarack ; always of species that do not grow within 
some hundreds of miles of this country. This deposit of clay, 
sand and loam sometimes reaches to the depth of two hundred 
feet, while in other places the stratified rocks below it are 
scarcely concealed. These stratified rocks consist of thin 
veins of coal, limestone, sandstone, and other varieties of rocks 
ii layers down to the primitive granite. The clay, the gravel, 
the fragments of trees were probably deposited in the drift 
period ; the gravelly knolls formed from the detritus of some 
iceberg arrested in its course and melted there. The granite 



ledges, from whence the boulders that strew the prairies were 
taken, can now be seen about six hundred miles toward the 
polar ocean. 

It seems most probable that the departure of the waters 
which formerly covered these prairies was due to the gradual 
elevation of the surface by internal forces ; and it is not im- 
possible that this gradual elevation may still be in progress, 
and account, in, part, for the constantly increasing dryness of 
the surface of the country, which is so evident to every settler 
who was accustomed to these prairies a quarter of a century 

The theory that these prairies were formerly the bed of 
a lake will account for the absence of trees. Grass and 
herbaceous plants in great variety, including flowering plants 
which bloom in constant succession from spring till autumn, 
grow in the finely comminuted soil which always constitutes 
the bottom of lakes and ponds, as they grow here on the 
prairies ; but in such soils trees do not naturally spring 
up. The beds of lakes in Michigan which have been gradually 
filled up or drained oif remain as natural prairies. Some acid 
in such soils checks the spontaneous growth of trees. But a 
different kind of soil is found upon the margin of streams, and 
in this class of soil groves of excellent timber are always found. 
The cause of this may be in the fact that when in the course 
of the gradual elevation of the whole region, the higher por- 
tions arc laid bare, the drainage became more concentrated in 
narrow channels, and the more rapid current washed away 
the swampy top-soil, leaving exposed the underlying drift, 
which is a soil of a character adapted to the growth of forests. 
Trees indeed grow and thrive in the prairie soil when planted 
there, but never except when the hand of man has broken the 
tough sod of the surface, and enabled their roots to penetrate 
to the argillaceous loam which constitutes the sub-soil. 




It was about two centuries ago that Louis XIV., the most 
ambitious, most illustrious and most dissolute of all the Icings 
of France, desirous of extending his dominions into the new 
world beyond the seas, sent out settlers to colonize the rich 
wilderness called after him, Louisiana, and embracing all the 
territory that was drained by the Mississippi river, including 
the beautiful country of the Illini tribe of Indians, named 
ultimately Illinois. 

French villages or trading posts were established at St. 
Louis, Prairie du Chien, Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, Peoria, 
Cahokia, Chicago, and some other less noted points, by settlers 
who, under LaSalle, Iberville, and various other Jesuit priests, 
became the first white inhabitants of our State. 

For nearly one hundred and fifty years these villages made 
little progress. The original settlers generally intermarried 
with the Indians of the surrounding country, and their de- 
scendants partook, to some extent, of the wild, roving, indolent 
character of the aborigines, united with the politeness, gaiety 
and courtesy of the French. Most of their time was spent in 
hunting and fishing excursions from which they returned with 
the skins, fur and feathers, which were the staple articles of 
their trade in their annual excursions down the great Father 
of Waters. Each village had its own Catholic church, which 
was the place of gay resort on Sunday, and its priest, who 
was the loved advisor and companion of his flock. 

In 1713 the country passed from the authority of the French 
at the conclusion of the treaty of Utrecht which ceded Canada 
to the English, the whole being known as New France. 


In 1774 an act of Parliament, known as the Quebec act, 
designed to prevent the Canadians from joining with the other 
disaffected colonies in opposition to the British Crown, among 
numerous other privileges, attached all of this country north 
of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi to the province of 

When in 1778 the country was conquered from the British 
who then possessed it by the colonial troops under General 
George R. Clarke, many of his officers and soldiers remained 
and settled in the territory ; and in due time other hardy 
pioneers from Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, followed 


Clarke, who was acting under authority of the Legislature 
of Virginia, claimed this part of the country as a conquest of 
that State ; and the Virginia Legislature in October of that 
year organized it as the County of Illinois, in the State of 
Virginia and as such it continued till the ordinance of 1787 
reorganized it as the northwestern territory, and appointed 
Gov. St. Clair its territorial governor. 

When in the war of 1812 British emissaries stirred up the 
Indians to Avar upon the settlement of those who confessed 
allegiance to the Union, these colonists then amounting to 
about 12,000 in number, maintained their position, and, with 
the aid of one company of regular troops, took the offensive, 
and made hostile expeditions into the territory of the neigh- 
boring tribes, burning their villages and driving them from the 
country. At the outbreak of the war, however, the company 
of troops posted at Chicago, who had received notice of the 
declaration of hostilities and orders to evacuate and destroy 
their post, were ambushed at Michigan City while escaping 
to Detroit, and massacred by the Indians. With the cessa- 
tion of the war, peace returned to the little chain of Western 
colonies. By the famous ordinance of 1787, organizing this 
great northwestern territory, there were to be not less than 
three nor more than five States carved out from its limits, any 
one of which should be admitted into the Union so soon as it 


should have 60,000 inhabitants ; and the boundaries of those 
three States, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois were defined. They 
were each to extend to the British possessions on the north. 

Illinois thus included all of the present State of Wisconsin. 
But Congress reserved the right to form one or two States 
out of the territory lying north of an east and west line drawn 
through the south point of Lake Michigan. But until 1814 
Indiana and Illinois were both under one territorial govern- 
ment, whose head was at Vincennes, in Indiana, and the laws 
which governed their people went by the name of the laws of 
the " Vinsan Legislature At this time the Illinoians, anx- 
ious to have a legislature of their own, elected as delegate to 
Congress, one Judge Thomas, from whom they prudently took 
a bond, pledging him to procure a division of the two terri- 
tories. This he accomplished, and came home from Wash- 
ington with the appointment of Supreme Judge of the new 
Territory of Illinois. 

In 1818 Judge Nathaniel Pope, father of the famous Gen. 
Pope, was a delegate to Congress from the territory of Illi- 
nois, and while at his post in Washington, unexpectedly 
received a petition from the territorial Legislature, then 
sitting at Kaskaskia, for the admission of the Territory into 
the Union as an independent State. He immediately brought 
the subject before Congress ; and before the adjournment an 
enabling act was passed for" this purpose. Through his wise 
foresight the northern boundary line of the State, which it 
had been intended should be the line running through the south- 
ern point of Lake Michigan, was moved north to its present 
location ; because it was deemed important that the State 
whichj from its great size and commanding position, it was 
already surmised would become the great empire State of the 
west, should be so attached to the great system of lake navi- 
gation at the north that her grand system of river navigation, 
inclining her to attach herself to a southern confederacy, if 
such should ever be attempted, would not be a paramount 
influence, but would be neutralized and controlled by a rival 


interest, which would make her, as she has since proved, an 
arbiter of the destinies of the Union, preventing its disrup- 
tion, and by her commanding position and power checking 
the attempt to rend the Union in twain. 

It was also deemed important that the Illinois and Michigan 
canal, which was even then projected, should have its entire 
course in one State. Urged by these considerations, Congress 
consented to move the northern boundary line fifty miles to 
the north ; and so it happens that a love of the Union 
caused that section of the country which is now our County 
of DeKalb, to be a part of the State of Illinois instead of 

The enabling act passed, a convention was called in the 
summer of 1818, which formed a State constitution. Its 
leading spirit, to whom the State is indebted for most of its 
peculiar features, was Elias K. Kane of Kaskaskia, after- 
wards a United States Senator, and who gave its name to our 
neighboring; County of Kane. The Constitution having been 
adopted, an election was held, and Shadrach Bond, a plain 
old farmer lately from Maryland, was chosen first Governor of 
the State. Pierre Menard, an old French settler, was elected 
Lieutenant Governor ; E. K. Kane, Secretary of State ; John 
Thomas, Treasurer; E. C. Berry, Auditor, and D. P. Cook, 
Attorney General. Ninian Edwards and Jesse B. Thomas 
were made the first Senators. The names of most of these 
first officers will be recognized as having been perpetuated in 
the names of counties since organized in the State. At this 
time the population of the State was about 56,000, but scarcely 
any portion of it was located north of Alton. In October of 
this year the first Legislature convened at Kaskaskia, and 
after voting itself a sufficient allowance of stationery, at a 
cost of $13.50, it organized and put in operation the State 
government and adjourned till the next winter. 

At the winter session a code of laws were passed, mostly 
borrowed from the statute books of Kentucky and Virginia. 
In the main they were very good laws, more clearly expressed 


and more easily understood than the majority of laws since 
enacted ; but they contain the infamous black laws, which 
ever after disgraced the statute book and the State, until re- 
pealed in the winter of 18(30. This code permitted immigrants 
to bring their slaves with them ; and if the signatures of the 
slaves could be obtained to an agreement to that effect, it 
compelled their continual service as slaves — or registered 
servants, as they were called. It forbid any free negro to 
reside in the State without giving bonds for his good behavior 
and that he would not become a county charge. Any negro 
found without a certificate of freedom could be arrested and 
sold for a specified time. Any negroes assembled for a dance 
or revelry Avere to be committed to jail and whipped by the 
sheriff, not to exceed thirty-nine lashes on the bare back. 

This Legislature also provided for a new seat of government 
at Vandalia, a point then uninhabited, and named by a wag 
who suggested to the commissioners that the Vandals, a tribe 
of Indians, formerly resided there, and that Vandalia would 
perpetuate their musical Indian name. 

Few events of importance in the history of the new State 
occurred until in 1821, the Legislature established a State 
Dank upon an absurdly insecure basis, which made money 
plentiful until in 1824 it failed, and brought great financial 
distress upon the inhabitants. 

In 1822, Edward Coles, an accomplished Virginian, was 
elected Governor, and in 1823 there commenced a long struggle 
for the establishment of slavery in Illinois. Missouri had in 
1820 been admitted into the Union as a slave State, under 
the Missouri compromise act, and that State was rapidly fill- 
ing up with settlers from the eastern slave States, who thronged 
the public roads with long trains of teams and negroes, ex- 
citing the envy of those who had farms to sell and were pre- 
vented from disposing of them to these rich slaveholders, only 
because slaves could not be held in this State. 

To secure the establishment of slavery in Illinois, a conven- 
tion to alter its constitution was required; and by a majority 


of a sincde vote the Legislature decided to submit to the vote 
of its people the question of calling such a convention. For 
nearly eighteen months the question was debated with great 
earnestness, and one of the most exciting and extraordinary 
contests ever known in the State was kept up ; but it was 
finally decided by a majority of nearly 2,000 that Illinois 
should be consecrated to freedom. 

The construction of a canal uniting the waters of Lake 
Michigan with the Mississippi through the Illinois river was 
the great work of the early days of the infant State ; and as 
early as 1821 the Legislature appropriated $10,000 to pay 
the expense of a survey of the route. The survey was com- 
pleted next year, and the expense was estimated at $750,000. 
Its final cost was about thirty millions. In 1826 Congress 
appropriated 300,000 acres of public lands in aid of the 
scheme, the State Legislature gave State bonds to the amount 
of $300,000, and the work was begun. 

In 1824, '25 and '26, the lead mines of Galena began to 
attract attention, and in 1827 seven thousand settlers about 
those mines were engaged in seeking fortunes by prospecting 
for and extracting the ore. They were a migratory popula- 
tion, running up the Mississippi to work the mines in the 
spring and back to their homes again in the fall. It is sup- 
posed that this peculiarity in which they resemble the fish 
called suckers, gave Illinoisans the name which has attached 
to them ever since. Another theory, however, accounts for 
the origin of the name by the asserted fact that the early 
immigrants were of the poorer class of the population of the 
Southern States, and called Suckers by the wealthy slave- 
holders and tobacco growers, because they were like the 
worthless suckers on the tobacco plant, which were picked oft* 
from the parent stem and thrown away. 

In 1830 the population of the State had increased to 157,- 
447 and in that year John Reynolds was elected Governor. 

Next year the northern part of the State, which had then 
some scattered white settlers, was invaded by Black Hawk 


and his tribe of Indians, who, repudiating the treaty of 1804 
by which some of the chiefs of his tribe had sold and ceded 
his lands to the whites, declared his determination to repossess 
the lands of his fathers, and drive out all whites who had settled 
upon them. He proceeded to destroy their houses, fences and 
crops, and of course excited great distress and alarm. A 
battalion of volunteers, aided by some hundreds of United 
States regulars, soon drove them across the Mississippi again, 
and burned their villages near Rock Island. A threat of 
pursuing them into their own country, brought Black Hawk 
to terms, and induced him to sue for peace. A new treaty 
was made which bound the Indians to remain forever on the 
western side of the great river. 

The spring of the succeeding year, 1832, had hardly opened, 
however, when the same treacherous Indian chief, who has 
acquired world-wide fame, and whose character has obtained 
an ill-deserved reputation for nobility and integrity, disre- 
garding alike the treaty of his chiefs made with Gen. Harrison 
at St. Louis in 1804 and his own treaty extorted from him a 
few months before this time, again crossed the Mississippi at 
the head of a numerous band of his warriors, and prepared to 
reassert his right to the lands which had twice been solemnly 
released. He directed his march to the Rock River country, 
in the direction of the Pottawatomies, who inhabited this 
section of the State, and toward the Winnebagoes, whose 
wigwams were on Rock River. 

In April, Governor Reynolds had assembled at Beardstown 
a force of eighteen hundred volunteers, who were placed under 
command of General Whiteside, an officer of the State militia 
who had been in command of a portion of the forces in the 
campaign of the previous year. 

The army moved up the Mississippi to the mouth of Rock 
River, and thence by a forced march up the banks of that 
stream to the present location of the city of Dixon, and upon 
their route burned the Indian village of which the Prophet 


was the chief, and which place has since been called Proph- 

From Dixon a small portion of the force was pushed for- 
ward in a northeasterly direction, and on the 12th of May 
discovered Black Hawk's forces near Stillman's Run, 'a small 
branch of the Kishwaukee, near the northeast corner of this 
county. Here a battle occurred in which the militia were 
outnumbered, and fled in disorder, reaching the main body of 
the army next day in small parties, with a loss of eleven men 

The army had pushed on to their present location with 
unnecessary haste, leaving their supplies and baggage behind 
them ; and they were now threatened with famine. Their 
immediate necessities were, however, supplied by Mr. John 
Dixon, then the only settler on Rock River, whose entire 
stock of cattle, hogs and corn they consumed ; and the supply 
train coming up, they next day started in pursuit of their 
foes, at the scene of the late disaster. Rut the Indians had 
now scattered in small detachments, and were carrying on a 
guerrilla warfare all over the countrv. About fifteen miles 
from Ottawa they massacred three entire families of white 
settlers, and afterwards related with great glee, how the women 
had squeaked as they run them through with spears, or gashed 
them with tomahawks. 

The army, now returning to Dixon, found General Atkin- 
son encamped there, with a force of regulars which increased 
the number of troops to twenty-four hundred men, and sup- 
plied them with an abundance of provisions. 

They were now in condition for effective warfare, but the 
short time for which the volunteers had enlisted, had nearly 
expired; they were also much dissatisfied with Gen. Whiteside, 
their commander, and they earnestly demanded to be sent 
home. As it was useless to attempt to prosecute the cam- 
paign under these circumstances, they were marched across 
the country by the way of Paw Paw, in this County, to Ot- 
tawa, and on the 28th of May Avere there discharged. The 


Governor now called out new volunteers who soon answered 
the call, and one regiment was organized out of the troops 
recently discharged, in which Gen. Whiteside volunteered as 
a private, and conducted himself with great bravery and skill. 

The Indians now scattered all over the country, made desper- 
ate attacks upon all white settlements from Chicago to Galena, 
and from the Illinois river up to Northern Wisconsin. Thcs-e 
assaults of the savage foes were generally repulsed by the 
whites with oreat heroism. The Avar lasted all summer, the 
savages, generally defeated, were driven ultimately into North- 
ern Wisconsin, where, at the last great battle of Bad Axe, 
they were routed and scattered, with a loss of one hundred 
and fifty of their best warriors. A few days afterward, Black 
Hawk was captured by the treachery of some of his allies of 
the Winnebago tribe, and the Prophet, the next most poAver- 
ful chieftain, soon shared the same fate. They Avere taken 
to Washington, and after some months of captivity, were con- 
veyed through the great cities of the Union Avhere they Avere 
greatly lionized, being regarded by a perverted public opinion, 
as noble sufferers from Avrongs and chicanery of the domineer- 
ing Avhite race Avho had stolen their lands, and driven them 
to desperation. The ladies, in some instances, publicly salu- 
ted them Avith kisses. Black Hawk returned to his people, 
and lived in peace with the AA T hites eight years, when he died 
and Avas buried in the burial grounds of his forefathers. 

Many men Avho have since occupied a large space in the 
history of the State and County, were more or less conspic- 
uous in this AA'ar. Among them were General Scott, then in 
the zenith of his fame ; Zachary Taylor, a major of the reg- 
ulars ; Abraham Lincoln, a captain of volunteers ; Jefferson 
Davis, a lieutenant of the regular forces ; General Atkinson, 
Gov. Dodge, Murray McConnel, Capt. Stephenson and Gen. 
Henry. The glory of this Avar Avas monopolized to a great 
extent by Gen. A. C. Dodge, but more properly belongs to 
Gen. Henry, Avho died too soon after to reap the reward due 
to his gallantry and skill. 


The war ended, and danger from Indian disturbances for- 
ever quelled, various projects for internal improvements and 
the rapid development and settlement of the country occupied 
the attention of the inhabitants. Railroad charters were 
granted in 1833, but none of those then projected were ever 
built. It was not till 1836, that the grand system of internal 
improvements was planned which, in a few months, grew to 
such enormous dimensions as to rouse the people almost into 
a wild frenzy, cover the State with embryo cities, existing 
only in the imaginations of their projectors, swamp the 
State government under enormous debts, and ultimately, when 
there was not enough money in the hands of the entire pop- 
ulation to pay even the interest on the State debt, force the 
State into bankruptcy. In this Legislature Dr. Henry Mad- 
den, ever a prominent citizen of our County of DeKalb, repre- 
sented a district composed of the present Counties of DeKalb, 
LaSalle, Kane, Kendall, Iroquois, Grundy, and several others, 
and at this session he procured the passage of a bill for crea- 
ting the County of DeKalb. 




The Indians who inhabited this County of DeKalb, at the 
time of its first settlement by the whites, were of the power- 
ful tribe of the Pottawatomies. Their territory extended 
as far to the west as the Rock river, which stream divided them 
from the Winnebagoes. These two tribes, although living 
upon the most friendly terms, were of diverse origin, speaking 
a different dialect, and having emigrated from different parts 
of the continent. The Winnebagoes belonged to the Sioux 
branch and spoke that language. The Pottawatomies, with 
the Ottawas, Chippewas, Menomonies, Sacs and Foxes, and 
other noted tribes, spoke the Algonquin dialect which was 
originally the language of most of the tribes north of the 
Potomac and east of the Mississippi. This tribe came origi- 
nally from Canada. Like most Indians, they were in person 
rather above than below the average height of Europeans. 
The usual expression of their countenances when in 
repose, was grave, even to sadness. They had high cheek 
bones, faces uncommonly wide below the eyes, retiring 
foreheads, long, sleek black hair, finer than a horses mane, 
but much resembling it, but no beards, for a beard was con- 
sidered disgraceful, and untold tortures were endured in 
plucking out the first faint symptoms of one that sometimes 
appeared. They were of rugged health, straight and well 
limbed, and with a stoical indifference to pain that was either 
a wonderful exhibition of fortitude or, more probably, the re- 
sult of physical insensibility. They were generally sullen, 
seldom impatient, or hurried into intemperate warmth, except 
in hatred of their enemies ; generally feigning a proud indif- 


ferencc to their families, yet often giving evidence of strong 
attachment to tliem ; and always indolent, except when engaged 
in the chase or the war-path. This was rather the natural 
character of the original Indian than that which most of them 
bore at the period of the settlement of this County. The use 
of intoxicating liquors had at this time demoralized them, 
and destroyed their native nobility of character. They had 
become more puerile and purposeless, and their most conspic- 
uous traits, were their indolence and their disgusting personal 

Their pride in dress had mostly passed away, yet they 
were childishly fond of display. Their persons were anointed 
with vile paints and grease, as much for the purpose of utility 
as decoration, as it defended the body from cold and from the 
attacks of insects. In 1835 there were villages of them near 
Ohio Grove ; on Section 3, in the Town of Cortland ; in 
Kingston on Section 21 ; at Coltonville ; a large settlement 
at Shabbona Grove, under the good chief Shabbona, and 
another at Paw Paw Grove, under a chief of yet higher rank, 
called Waubonsie. There were some forty wigwams at Col- 
tonville, but at this time they were not all inhabited. The 
first settlers found them making sugar from the maples of the 
adjoining grove, having, beside -the hewn troughs, quite a 
number of the backs of turtles for sap buckets ; and the early 
settlers were sometimes nauseated by seeing them cast into 
their boiling syrup, rabbits and woodchucks, entrails, hair and 
all, which they devoured, when thus cooked, with evident 
relish, and thought the syrup none the worse for the unusual 

Their modes of burial were various. The most of them 
were buried in shallow graves, with such of their bows and 
arrows, guns and trinkets, as their relatives thought they 
might need in the happy hunting grounds to which they had 
gone. The bodies of their chiefs, however, were treated in a 
different manner. A space was selected upon some conspic- 
uous mound, and a square, about six feet by ten, fenced in with 


high palisades. Within this, the body was placed, braced up 
in a sitting posture, with knives, rifle, blankets, pipe, and 
a good supply of tobacco, and all were thus left to moulder 
and decay. 

A chief of this tribe, whose name has not been preserved, 
was in this manner enshrined upon the farm of Calvin Colton, 
in Mayfield, at the first settlement of the country, and his 
skeleton was afterward begged of Colton by Dr. Richards 
and went, with the bullet in it which was the cause of his 
death, to adorn the collection of physiological curiosities in 
the medical school at St. Charles. The dried and mouldering 
corpse of the famous chief Big Thunder, of this tribe, was 
as late as 1840 a conspicuous object on a height in the pre- 
sent city of Belvidere, but the early settlers becoming desti- 
tute of tobacco, had carried off the old fellows supply, and 
left him destitute also of rifle, tomahawk and knives. 

For the bodies of their dead children they hads*till another 
mode of sepulture. Hollow logs were procured and halved, 
the corpses placed in them, covered with bark, bound down 
tightly with withes, and then fastened with similar Avithcs to 
the horizontal branches of trees. There they were left, until 
the withes decayed and the bleached bones perhaps already 
stripped of their flesh by carnivorous birds, fell in a mass to the 
ground. As late as 1830 when Mr. Calvin Colton moved to 
his present location at Coltonville, there were, he says, as 
many as fifty pappooses thus suspended in the trees of the 
grove adjoining his residence. The Indians cultivated small 
fields of corn — not upon the open prairies where it would be 
difficult to break the sod, but upon the bottom lanes, near 
the streams, and on the borders of the groves. Their only 
implement was a heavy kind of hoe, and they hilled the corn 
to a great height so that the traces of their hills may even 
yet be seen in some places. The squaws did all of this work ; 
the male Indians Avere too proud and indolent to labor. They 
kept their seed-corn by stringing it upon Ioav poles beloAV the 
surface of the ground, coverinir these with bark and then with 


earth. These deposits were sacred among all tribes, and no 
Indian, no matter how nearly starved he might be, would 
ever disturb them. 

Their chief reliance for food, however, was upon the chase. 
Deer were plenty in these woods and upon the prairies at this 
time, and the prairie wolf, the rabbit, the polecat, the martin and 
the woodchuck were quite numerous. The buffalo had passed 
away, but many of their bones were yet to be found. Shab- 
bona, their intelligent ami truthful old chief, states that 
about the year 1810 there was a winter of extraordinary 
severity, more terrible than had ever been known before or 
since that time ; that multitudes of Indians perished with the 
cold, and that all of the buffalo died and were never after- 
wards seen in this section of the country. 

Near the present town line between Clinton and Shabbona 
is a small pond of water whose springs never fail to yield an 
abundant supply. Around this spring, could have been seen, 
twenty years ago, the bones and skulls of hundreds of buffalo. 
In times of severe drought, this was the only watering place 
on the open prairie for many miles around, and it is supposed 
that the old and decrepid buffalo, who always avoid the groves, 
resorted to this spot for water when nearly worn out, and 
died there. But although the buffalo were gone, the toils of 
the Indian hunters were yet rewarded with an abundance of 
game, and it constituted their principal supply of food. 

Their courtship and " marriage was simple in the extreme. 
If an Indian fancied a certain squaw, he sent word that at a 
certain night he would visit her wigwam. He enters, stirs 
the slumbering embers of her fire, and lights a bit of wood. If 
she remains wrapped in her blanket and takes no notice of 
him, he is rejected, and departs without more ado. If she 
rises, blows out the torch, he is accepted, and they are man 
and wife henceforth 

The Indians abandoned the County about six months after 
the whites moved in. They had a wholesome awe of the power 
of the government, which protected the white settlers, and 


* m 

%.. * 



gave them little reason to apprehend danger. They some- 
times stole articles of trifling value, and sometimes annoyed 
the settlers by their begging for food. They often got whis- 
key of the whites, and, until that was gone, they had noisy 
powwows, dancing, screaming and singing all night long, very 
much as some of their successors do to this day ; but even in 
their debauch they were not quarrelsome, but generally silly 
and good-humored. Shabbona's tribe remained upon their 
reservation for several years, and they were occasionally visit- 
ed by other Indians, and reports were occasionally circulated 
that they were dressed in the red war paint, had sent away 
their women and children, and were about to make war again 
upon the whites. Some isolated farmers sent daily messen- 
gers to watch them, and kept their horses harnessed at night, 
ready to fly at a moments warning ; but there is no evidence 
that these fears were well founded. Shabbona was, undoubt- 
edly, a warm friend to the whites ; an Indian who knew and 
appreciated their power, who had become warmly attached to 
many of them, and felt the futility of all attempts to resist 
their onward progress. 

He was a man of remarkable nobility of character, and 
worthy of being held in respectful remembrance by all in- 
lyibitants of this State. He was born in Canada sometime 
about the year 1780. Of his early years we know but little, 
except that he was attached to some roving party with which 
lie traveled extensively over the State. His knowledge of 
the country was extraordinary. He Avas a sort of aid to 
Tecumseh, and with him visited the Creeks in 1812, origina- 
ting that bloody Indian Avar which devastated Georgia and 
Mississippi, and in which Gen. Jackson acquired his first 
prominence. He remained with Tecumseh, actively engaged 
against the Avhites, until the death of that celebrated warrior. 
His account of the killing of Tecumseh is as follows, and 
there is no doubt of its truth. He says: "The battle Avas 
terrible; Indians Avere killed on very fast ; still so long as 
they could hear the "big Avhoop" of Tecumseh, the Indians 


held on ; then came the charge. Col. Johnson riding his 
horse, rushed down among them. Tecumseh raised his toma- 
hawk to strike him off, but quick as thought the Colonel pre- 
sented his pistol, leveling it across his wounded arm, which 
was very bloody, and shot the warrior dead. The Indians 
hearing his voice no longer, at once gave up and dispersed." 
Shabbona loved the memory of Tecumseh ; he said he was 
noble and brave, and did what he thought Avas for the good of 
his people. This was Shabbona's last effort against the whites; 
from that time forward his aim was peace. He was styled 
the Peace Chief of his tribe ; he concluded it was useless to 
contend against what he knew to be a superior race. This 
County soon after became his residence. When in 1831 and 
'32 Black Hawk began his agitation for war, Shabbona op- 
posed him from the beginning, using every art to keep peace. 
Finally, he secretly left the last Indian Council, held some- 
where on the Kishwaukie, and rode southward, sending out 
some of his own family in other directions, warning the whites 
of the approaching danger. On the Indian Creek, near "old 
Munsontown," in La Salle County, was quite a settlement of 
whites. He arrived there on his panting pony, told them 
Black Hawk was coming, and begged them to leave. They 
would not believe him. He went on towards Holdermand's 
Grove, and thence up Fox River, warning all and saving the 
lives of many. Black Hawk, following, soon after surprised 
these people at Munsontown, killed thirteen of them and took 
two girls prisoners. Only one person, Green Hall, escaped. 
He was near the creek, saw the Indians coming, jumped down 
the bank and hid under some flood-wood. The Indians, after 
hunting some time, concluded he was drowned. xVfter they 
went away, he wandered down the creek nearly dead, with a 
broken arm, and finally reached Ottawa. 

Shabbona has been blamed for his conduct on this occasion 
— on the plea that he was a traitor to his tribe. His defence 
was this, almost in his own words : He did not like Black 
Hawk, who was ambitious and cruel ; he had lived long on 


terms of intimacy and friendship with the whites; he loved 
his white friends and their children ; he hated baby-killing 
and woman-scalping ; and he knew Black Hawk would fail in 
the end. Certainly his course was right. 

At the treaties following the Black Hawk war, his grove 
was reserved for him. January 1st, 1836, the first house was 
raised at Shabbona Grove, by Edmund Town, assisted by 
David Smith, both living yet, and residents of the town. 
While building this house, they lived in the deserted wigwams 
of the Indians, who had gone west about three months before. 
A few days before the raising, Smith found two bottles of 
whiskey hidden in a tree and left by the Indians ; so they 
had whiskey at the first raising. 

The Indians never after made a permanent home at this 
place till LS44, but came and went every year or two. In 
the meantime many settlers had been attracted to the grove, 
between whom and the Indians there existed close friendship. 
At this time his band numbered some twenty-five in all, con- 
sisting of himself, his third wife, Pokanoka, (his first wife was 
buried in the grove and his second wife lived with her tribe 
near Council Bluffs) two sons, five daughters; sons-in-law, 
nephews, neices and grand-children. He was then between 
sixty and seventy years of age ; a fine, portly man with an 
intelligent pleasant face, and distinguished for his kindliness 
of disposition and social qualities. He was prompt and hon- 
orable in his dealings ; and in every way an agreeable person 
except wdien in liquor. Drunkenness seems to be an especial 
vice with, an Indian. His son Smoke was a magnificent fel- 
low ; tall, and well proportioned, with fine expressive features, 
dignified and courteous in his bearing, and distinguished as 
being perfectly temperate ; he disdained to touch whiskey. 
He was a real "Uncas." Smoke died in Iow T a. It seems 
he was attended by the whites in his last moments who 
gave him Christian burial. Shabbona told the story thus : 
"White man kind to Smoke ; make him box, (describing with 
his hands the shape of a coffin) put him in ; then one white 


man bend down and say, "0 God! God! God!" over 
Smoke. Ugh! white man much good, much good." The 
other son, Wynonwy, was a heavy, good-natured fellow. 
They hunted, generally riding their ponies over the prairies 
after game ; raised some corn ; made sugar in the grove. 
Like all Indians, they Avere extremely disgusting in their do- 
mestic habits, though these were not in person very unclean. 
They were generally pleasant, intelligent and agreeable, and 
visited, borrowed and loaned with the whites, being usually 
prompt and honorable. Shabbona was particularly so. He 
sometimes attended meetings with his grandchildren, whom 
he was particular to keep in good order. There seemed to 
be strict discipline kept up among them. As, for instance : 
Mr. Isaac Morse relates that he went down into the timber 
to work, one day, and, noticing a pen built up around a tree, 
went there and found within, an Indian girl apparently about 
fifteen years old. To his questions she made no reply : at 
noon he tried to get her to eat of his lunch, but she would not 
eat nor speak. Next morning she was there yet : he again 
tried to converse with her, and pulled the pen down. She 
then told him she was "bad Indian," and must stay another 
day, carefully the while replacing the sticks. 

Another time a number of them were coming over from 
Paw Paw in a wagon. They had been drinking, and one, 
being particularly disorderly, was tied hands and feet and left 
on the ground : then another and another, as they drove along, 
was served in the same manner, and left till evening, when 
they were released. 

Shabbona sometimes went to Chicago with his neighbors, in 
those old days of overland expeditions, and was noted for his 
sociable and agreeable qualities. Mr. Harvey Allen tells an 
incident which he witnessed : One of the Band, "Joe," had 
been down to Ross' Grove, and returned with two bottles of 
whiskey, one of which he gave to Shabbona. They parleyed 
awhile in their Indian language, and finally loaded their rifles, 
went out and put up a mark. " Joe " shot first, just missing 


the mark ; Shabbona hit the center; Joe delivered the bottle 
to tlie old chief, who laughed immoderately over the incident. 
He had a "big drunk." 

About twenty years ago, the large log house now standing 
at the grove, and known as the Shabbona house, was built by 
Gates for him. He never occupied it except for storage, be- 
ing displeased because it leaked. He and his family left to 
go to Kansas in the spring of 184'.). In the fall following was 
the Dixon Land Sale, at which his "Reservation " was sold, 
as will be related in the history of the town. It seems that 
he never understood the matter, nor why he was dispossessed, 
as, when he left, he gave his premises and left some things in 
charge of Mr. Norton, telling him to keep the same until he 
came back, asking nothing for the use of his land the first 
year, but wanted " something saved for Shabbona the next, 
because maybe he come back poor." He was gone some three 
years. On his return Mr. Norton informed him of the sale 
of his land, and that his farm was gone. The poor old chief 
dropped his head upon his breast, muttering, "All gone; 
Shabbona got nothing now." His band camped at the spring- 
near the present road leading into the grove below Mr. James 
Greenfield's house, while Shabbona, dispossessed, started off* 
to find another home. Upon his return he received a terrible 
cursing from the man who owned the timber upon which they 
were' encamped, because they had cut some poles and burned 
some old wood. Sorrowfully and at once they gathered up 
their things, and Shabbona with his band left the grove for- 

Mr. Tracy Scott relates the folloAving incident which occur- 
red at this time : He was returning from Aurora, and, com- 
ing through Big Rock timber, saw the Indians encamped. 
Shabbona seemed utterly cast down ; and, in reply to Scott's 
inquiry as to why he left and where he was going, said he had 
always been a friend to the whites ; that he had treated them 
well ; that his wife and some of his children were buried in 
the grove ; that he had lived there, and wanted to die there • 


that he had lost all — was very poor : then he told that, because 
his hand had burned a few sticks of wood, "big white man 
call me, damn Indian! Shabbona never damn white man!" 
and pointing upwards, while the tears ran down his old cheeks, 
he continued, "No big white man — no damn Indian up there 
—all 'like; all 'like!" 

Thus ended the residence and connection of Shabbona and 
his band with the County of DeKalb. He went down near 
Morris, Illinois, and died, some five or six years ago, in ex- 
treme poverty. On the 5th of July, 1865, his wife Pokanoka 
and two of her daughters came back to the grove, took quiet 
possession of a thicket near the old house, and remained there 
three days. Soon after, in crossing a small stream, she was 
thrown from her wagon (she Avas very old, fleshy and helpless) 
into the water and drowned. The family are scattered, no 
one knows where. 

These are simple statements, just as related by the old set- 
tlers, and as known to the writer hereof, without an embellish- 
ment : but what a mournful story ! Is there in the whole 
field of reality a more pitiful case ? 




Although the memory of the brave Baron DeKalb has 
been duly honored by the American people, so far as it can 
be done in the nomenclature of the Country, no less than 
fifteen towns, and about as many Counties in the Union, 
having received the name of this heroic general, yet feAv, 
very few of our countrymen are familiar with his history. 
While it is incumbent upon every intelligent American to 
preserve, fresh and green, the memory of those eminent Euro- 
peans who, like La Fayette, forsook the fascinations of for- 
eign courts, to fio;ht for us the battle of our liberties, it is 
peculiarly desirable that we of De Kalb County should know 
and duly honor the memory of that generous hero of this 
class, who has given his name to our County and to one of 
our prominent towns. 

Baron John DeKalb, was a native of the province of Al- 
sace, a German province in the possession of France, and was 
born about the year 1732. He entered the French army at 
an early* age, and was there educated in the art of war, in 
which he attained great proficiency, having become a Briga- 
dier General in that army, and a Knight of the Order of 
Merit. ' In 1762 he visited the Anglo-American colonics as a 
secret agent of the French government, and no doubt on 
that mission, acquired that knowledge of our country, and 
something of that interest in its destinies, that led him in 
November, 1776, soon after the stirring news of our declara- 
tion of independence had reached Europe, to offer his services 
to Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, the first envoys of 
our young Republic to France, to serve in the armies of the 


revolted colonies. His proffer was gratefully accepted, and 
in the following year lie sailed with the Marquis de La Fayette 
and ten other French officers, to this country. On Septem- 
ber 15th, 1777, he was appointed by Congress a Major Gen- 
eral, and soon after he joined the main army under Washing- 
ton which was then operating about Philadelphia. The 
American officers were intensely jealous of these foreign 
allies as a class, and the high commands given them, excited 
great dissatisfaction, but the aims and acts of the veteran 
Baron De Kalb were of so high an order, his enthusiasm for 
the deliverance of all who were oppressed was so earnest 
and heartfelt, his desire for rank was so evidently for the 
purpose of better serving the new-born nation, and his military 
talents were so unmistakably eminent, that he disarmed this 
hostility of the native-born fellow soldiers, and served with 
their approbation, their confidence, their esteem. 

After a few weeks of active operations about Philadelphia, 
he went with the army into winter quarters at Valley Forge 
where his active sympathy and enthusiasm for the cause, aided 
to lighten and brighten the dreariness of that most gloomy 
winter of American history. During the two following years, 
he served with honor to himself, and satisfaction to the coun- 
try, in the campaigns in Maryland and New Jersey. When 
in April, 1780, the capture of Charleston, the principal 
Southern seaport, Avas threatened by the British under Clinton, 
DcKalb was selected by Washington with the approbation 
of Congress, to proceed South with the Maryland and Dela- 
ware forces to reinforce Lincoln, ayIio was in command at 
Charleston. Conveyed by water to Petersburg, Va., they 
commenced a long and weary march for the Carolinas. The 
country Avas poor and thinly inhabited ; no magazines had 
been laid up ; the commissaries had neither money nor credit. 
It must have taxed all the resources of their general, to pros- 
ecute the march in the face of these obstacles. But undaunted 
he pressed on, scattering his soldiers over the country in 
small parties. They collected their oavu supplies by impressing 


lean cattle from the canebrakes, and Indian corn, the only 
grain which the country produced. 

Halting at length at Deep river, he was overtaken by Gen. 
Gates, who had been appointed by Congress to the command 
of the Southern department, and pressed on through a barren 
and disaffected country toward Camden. The little army 
was soon greatly augmented hj reinforcements of Virginian 
and Carolinian troops ; but weakened by diseases, caused by 
eating unripe peaches and green corn as substitutes for bread. 
The patriot army approached Camden with nearly 6,000 men, 
but they were mostly raw militia, and weakened by disease 
and their arduous marches. Lord Cornwallis, who command- 
ed the British force, opposed to him, had a much smaller 
army, but they were veterans, and were so situated that defeat 
would have been their destruction. On the night of the 6th 
of August, Cornwallis put his troops in motion, determined to 
attack and surprise Gates. On that same night Gates had 
moved forward his army, intending to occupy another position 
nearer Camden. The advance of the two armies encountered 
each other unexpectedly in the woods. A council of war was 
called, and De Kalb, the second in command, who had caution- 
ed Gates against the result of a general engagement, recom- 
mended that the army should fall back to a more favorable 
position. Gates scorned the advice. " I would not give a 
penny to be insured a beefsteak in Camden to-day with Lord 
Cornwallis a captured prisoner at my table." DeKalb, who 
had repeatedly foretold the ruin that would ensue, and ex- 
pressed a presentiment that he would fall in the battle, was 
taunted by the rash Gates, who insinuated that his prudence 
was occasioned by fear. De Kalb instantly placed himself at 
the head of his troops on foot, replying : Well, sir, a few 
hours will prove who are brave. 

The British rushed with charged bayonets on Gates' center 
and left, when his troops broke and fled, leaving their guns on 
the ground. Gates went with them, and did not cease his flight 
till he reached Charlotte, eighty miles from the field of battle. 


The brave DeKalb, at the head of the right wing, manfully 
stood his ground, and contended with the whole British army 
more than an hour. Hundreds of his devoted troops had fallen 
around him, when at last he fell, pierced by eleven bayonet 
wounds. At the entreaty of his aid, the British officers 
interposed to prevent his immediate destruction, but he sur- 
vived only a few hours. 

To a British officer, who kindly condoled with him on his 
misfortune, he replied: I thank you for your generous sym- 
pathy, but I die the death I have always prayed for — the 
death of a soldier fighting for the rights of man ; and though 
I fight no more in this world, I trust I may still be of some 
service to the cause of freedom. 

Many years after, General Washington visited the grave of 
the departed hero at Camden, and after gazing sadly awhile, 
he exclaimed : So here lies the brave DeKalb ! the generous 
stranger who came from a distant land to fight our battles, 
and water with his blood the tree of liberty. 

Congress voted a monument to him, but it was never erect- 
ed. The citizens of Camden, however, many years after, 
enclosed his grave, and placed on it a handsome marble with 
an epitaph, descriptive of his virtues and his services to the 




Until the spring of the year 1835, the feet of very few 
white people had trodden the soil of what now constitutes the 
County of DeKalb. It was the home of the Indian, and 
the Indian agent at Chicago, backed up by companies of 
United States troops, was authorized to drive off all whites 
who should encroach upon their land. But it having been 
noised about in this spring of 1835, that the Indians were 
about to remove west of the Mississippi, no further attempt 
was made to restrain the immigration of the whites, and they 
poured into the country in great numbers. 

In pre-empting and claiming land, delays are dangerous, 
and each landless immigrant, desiring to have the first choice 
of lands, and to be sure of a location inferior to none, hurried 
into the territory, and camping near some favorable grove 
and stream, began to blaze the trees on a line surrounding 
as much of the timbered land as he thought he should want, 
and then ran his plow out on the prairie, making with its fur- 
row, a tract as large as he cared for, of the open prairie. 

This, according to the primitive regulations which governed 
the new settlers at that time, gave him a right to hold the 
tract thus marked out, until the time when the government 
should have it surveyed, and the opportunity offered for a bet- 
ter title, by purchase of the United States. 

But innumerable disputes arose under this arrangement. 
Some of the more ambitious of the new-comers claimed sev- 
eral square miles of land, and were preventing the settlement 
of the country by elbowing out those who would have been 


glad to make their homes here. It was evident that something 
must be done to limit and regulate this privilege of the squat- 
ter ; and that which was done we cannot better relate than in 
the quaint language of one of the worthiest of those early 
settlers, as published in his "Reminiscences of Border Life," 
in the Republican Sentinel of this County, in 1855. He says : 

" ' In those days, there being no king in Israel, every man 
did that which seemed right in his own eyes.' The size of 
claims, therefore, varied from two eightys of prairie, and one 
of timber, to a half section of timber, and a tract of prairie 
two miles square. Some assumed the right to make and hold 
claims by proxy, being thereunto duly authorized by some 
brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin or friend. Meanwhile, 
new settlers poured in apace, astonished and perplexed to 
find the choice timber and prairie '■blazed' and 'furrowed' 
into claims, whose ample acres, the claimant with all his 
children, uncles, aunts and cousins, to the 'third and fourth 
generations,' would never be able to till or occupy. The 
new settler, perplexed, baffled, and becoming more and more 
desperate on finding 'God's green earth' thus monopolized, 
would approach his more fortunate neighbor with the spirit of 
Abraham to Lot — 'now I have come a great way to get some 
of this timber and prairie, and one thing is certain, I am go- 
ing to have some. There is enough for you and me, and our 
boys. Now don't let us quarrel ; you turn to the right and 
I will turn to the left, or, vice versa. Sometimes this good 
scripture, and, consequently, good common sense logic, fvould 
win, but in other cases, the grasping spirit of the borderer 
would stave off all kind of division or compromise, and, laying 
his hand upon his rifle, he would bluster and threaten in 
'■great swelling words,'' and drive away the 'stranger from 
his right.' 

" Hereupon arose innumerable disputes and wranglings, 
concerning the size, tenure and boundaries of claims. The 
more reflecting among the settlers, saw a dark cloud, big with 
the elements of strife and social disorder, gathering in the 


not very distant horizon, whose tornado blasts threatened soon 
to lay waste all that was of value in the rising community. 
There was no municipal law reaching these cases ; and if 
there had been, the settlers probably would have been none 
the wiser for it, for it is believed at this period, there was 
neither a Justice nor a statute book north of the Illinois 
River, and west of Fort Dearborn, unless we except Ottawa 
and Chicago. Wrongs and outrages for which there was no 
known legal redress, were being multiplied. Blackened eyes, 
bloody noses and chewed ears were living realities, while the 
dirk, pistol, rifle, with something like ' cold lead,' were signifi- 
cantly talked of, as likely to bring about some ''realities' which 
might not be 'living.' 1 What could be done to ensure ' do- 
mestic tranquility,' 'promote the general welfare,' and secure 
to each settler his right? — Evidently but one thing. Happily 
some had seen something in the New Testament about those 
who are without law being a 'law unto themselves,' and set- 
tlers found themselves in this fix exactly. It was therefore 
apparent both from scripture and reason, that the settlers 
must become a 'law unto themselves ;' and, 'where there was 
a will there was a way. 'A settlers meeting,' at a given 
time and place, therefore came to be the watch word, from 
shanty to wagon, until all were alarmed. Pursuant to this 
proclamation, a 'heap' of law and order-loving American 
citizens convened on the 5th of September, 1835, at the 
shanty of Harmon Miller, then standing on the east bank of 
the Kishwaukie, nearly opposite the present residence of Wm. 
A. Miller in the toAvn of Kingston. 

" Happily the best possible spirit prevailed. The hoosier 
from the Wabash, the buckeye from Ohio, the hunter from 
Kentucky, the calculating Yankee, brother Jonathan's 'first- 
born,' and the 'beginning of his strength,' impelled by a sense 
of mutual danger, here sat down to dictate laws to Kishwau- 
kie and 'the region lying round about throughout all the 
coasts thereof.' Hon. Levi Lee, now chairman of a commit- 
tee to report on petitions for the 'Maine law' in the Legisla- 


ture of Wisconsin, was chosen to preside over this august 
assemblage, where the three great departments of free gov- 
ernments, the executive, the legislative and the judicial, were 
most happily united ; and ' Capt. Eli Barnes was appointed 
secretary.' Gently glided the sometimes turbid waters of 
that ' ancient river," the sonorous Kishwaukie, as speech 
after speech, setting forth the wants and woes of the settlers, 
the kind of legislation demanded by the crisis, went the 
rounds. Even those who were not used to 'talkin' much 
'fore folks,' evinced their cordial approbation and readiness 
to co-operate by doing up an amount of encoreing, which no 
doubt really did, ' astonish the natives.'' At last, ripe for 
immediate action, a committee was selected to draft and pre- 
sent to the meeting, a Constitution and By-Laws by which 
the 'settlers upon the public lands' should be governed. 
After some little deliberation back of the shanty, around the 
stump of a big white oak, which served as a writing desk, 
said committee reported a Preamble, Constitution and By- 
Laws, which, for simplicity, brevity and adaptation to neces- 
sity, it would be hard for any modern legislation to beat. 
The 'self-evident truths' proclaimed by Jefferson in the 'immor- 
tal declaration,' it is believed, were, for the first time, reiterated 
on the banks of Kishwaukie ; and, had there been a little 
more time for reflection and preparation, the top of some 
settler's wagon would have been converted into the ' Star 
Spangled Banner •' and thrown to the breezes of heaven from 
the tallest tree-top in the grove. The common-sense, law and 
logic, as well as patriotism, contained in this Constitution and 
By-Laws, were instantaneously recognized to be the very 
things demanded by the crisis, and were adopted with unpar- 
alleled enthusiasm, each subscribing his name thereto with 
his own hand, thereby pledging 'life,' '■fortune' and ' sacred 
honor,' to carry out the provisions of the code. It is not 
known that a copy of this singular unique document is now 
extant, and still there may be. As nearly as can be recollected, 
its provisions were somewhat as follows : A prudential com. 


mittee were to be then and there chosen, whose duty it should 
be, to ' examine into, hear, and finally determine, all disputes 
and differences then existing, or which hereafter might arise 
between settlers in relation to their claims,' and whose deci- 
sions, with certain salutary cheeks, were to be binding upon 
all parties, and to be carried out at all hazards by the three 
departments of government consolidated in aid of the execu- 
tive, in what jurists sometimes denominate, the i posse eomita- 
tus.' Each settler was solemnly pledged to protect every 
other settler in the association, in the peaceful enjoyment of 
'his or her reasonable claim as aforesaid, and further, who- 
ever throughout all Kishwaukie, or the suburbs, or coasts 
thereof, should refuse to recognize the authority of the afore- 
said association, and render due obedience to the laws enacted 
by the same from time to time, 'to promote the general wel- 
fare,' should be deemed a heathen, a publican, and an outlaw 
with whom they were pledged to have no communion or fel- 
lowship. Thus was a wall, affording protection to honest 
settlers, built in troublous times. Hon. Levi Lee, our present 
worthy County Judge, Hon. Geo. H. Hill, Capt. Eli Barnes, 
James Green and Jesse C. Kellogg, were chosen to be the 
settlers' committee, who who, as may well be supposed, had 
business on hand for some time in order to restore and 'ensure 
domestic tranquility,' and 'promote the general welfare.' 
The thing worked like a charm ; and the value of these asso- 
ciations in Northern Illinois, to the infant settlements, has 
never been over-estimated. Similar associations were formed 
and maintained in Somonauk and other portions of the County, 
until the lands came into market. This event took place in 
Chicago, in 1843, when all DeKalb County, except the north 
tier of townships, was sold to the highest bidder — that is, so 
far as ' terra firma ' is concerned. The moral as well as phy- 
sical power of the ' Settlers' associations ' was so great, that 
if a speculator presumed to bid on a settler's claim, he was 
certain to find himself ' knocked down and dragged out, 1 and 
had the land officers shown the least sympathy or favor to the 


' rascal,' there can be no doubt but what an indignant and 
outraged yeomanry would have literally torn the land office 
to fragments in almost 'less than no time.' ' 

The duties of these settlers' committees were onerous in- 
deed. Suits were prosecuted against them with all of the 
persistence that characterizes litigation in the courts at the 
present time. Day after day was sometimes spent in the 
examination of witnesses, the arguments of learned counsel, 
and of course some one was generally disappointed and angry 
at their award. 

The Claim associations were not without opposition also, 
and some were disposed to dispute their authority. Two well- 
defined parties sprang up in the Kishwaukie country, as that 
section was called over which the organization before des- 
cribed claimed authority. The opponents of the Claim As- 
sociation Averc called claim-jumpers. They held, not that 
men had no right to the land on which they settled, but that 
they had no right to make more than one claim, nor to hold 
another by purchase. Many rough, reckless pioneers came 
in at this early day with no intention of settling permanently, 
but merely to make claims on favorite locations and sell them 
out. They would roll together a few logs, lay them up in a 
kind of pen, cover it with bark or shakes, to give it the ap- 
pearance of a dwelling, and then having blazed around a 
quarter section of timber, and a mile or more of prairie, they 
would stand and forbid any one from settling on this claim 
without paying them some hundreds, or perhaps thousands of 
dollars, for what they called their farm. And settlers paid, 
even before the Indians left, hundreds, and sometimes thous- 
ands of dollars, for such claims. The tract on Avhich now 
stands most of the village of DeKalb was so claimed in this 
way by a Mr. Collins, and $2,000 was paid for the claim in 
183fi by the company of which Russell Huntley was agent and 
manager. Mr. Hamlin paid $600 for a claim two or three 
miles north of that place, and Ephraim and Riley Hall gave 
$700 for the claim on his present farm in the town of 


Sycamore. In addition to which, the purchaser was of course 
required to pay the government for the land when it was 
surveyed and offered for sale by the United States authorities. 
Such sums were small fortunes in those early days : they were 
equivalent to ten times as much money at this time; and men 
were naturally disposed to stand up very sturdily in defence 
of those ill defined rights of property for which they had paid 
so dearly. Fights and rows innumerable arose, fierce and 
fiery quarrels whose embers are even yet smouldering in the 
breasts of some of those first settlers. Meetings of the settlers' 
association were called, and new regulations adopted as 
occasion demanded. 

But as soon as the Courts were accessible, litigation began. 
While this was part of Kane County, the Courts at Geneva 
its County seat, were thronged with litigants, witnesses, 
attorneys and officers from this distant Kishwaukie country, 
and the suits were often by change of venue transferred still 
farther, to Joliet or other neighboring Counties. One well 
known citizen who had buried a relative on land that was 
afterward found to be over his line, was promptly sued for 
trespass, and after long litigation was compelled to remove 
the body. 

One of the most hotly contested of the claim wars, and 
which may serve as a sample of many others, was between 
Mr. Marshall Stark on the one side, and Riley Hall with 
Noble Barron on the other. 

Two brothers, James and Samuel Gilbert in 1835, made 
claims on the west side of the Kishwaukie on what is now the 
town of Mayfield, and wishing to move away, Mr. Stark 
purchased them, paying $550 for the claims. But as Stark 
already had a claim on the east side of the river, Hall and 
Barron who denied the right of settlers to hold any lands on 
which they did not reside, "jumped" Stark's west side claims, 
fenced in a lot, built a house on each, and moved a family in 
each house to hold them. This was a decided infraction of 
claim law, ana Stark found no difficulty in raising a company 


of some thirty friends to reinstate him. They marched up 
to the houses where they found their opponents with a few of 
their friends, armed with a rifle or two, and protected by 
'arricaded doors. The assaulting party beat down the door 
with battering rams, seized the rifles from the hands of the 
inmates, who feared to shoot into so large a party of neighbors, 
and then gathering rails and firing, they made a bonfire of 
the whole concern. 

The wrath of the claim-jumpers can readily be imagined. 
They swore great oaths, and threatened the lives of the 
perpetrators of this wrong. The first blood in the contest 
was won by Stark, who at an election held soon after at 
Frederick Love's, gave a sound threshing to two brothers 
Leckerby, who belonged to the claim-jumpers party. Not 
long after, happening to go upon the disputed claim, he was 
waylaid and attacked with clubs by a party of them, and after 
a running fight of a mile or more, was lucky to escape with 
his life. Now commenced a long course of litigation lasting 
for several years. The case tried first before llufus Colton, 
then Justice of the Peace, was appealed to the Circuit Court 
at Geneva before Judge Roberts, thence taken on change of 
venue to Joliet, then to the Supreme Court at Ottawa, and 
after many years, finally decided more by good luck than by 
law, in Stark's favor. But the expenses as usual in closely 
contested suits, were much greater than the value of the 
property. A year or two later, the State Legislature passed 
a statute legalizing sales of claims, thus maintaining the 
law established by the settlers' association. In the winter of 
1839, a party of the settlers came down upon one old fellow 
who was found in the big woods preparing to jump a claim of 
one of their friends, and being inflamed with Dutch courage 
derived from a jug of whiskey, they prepared to hang the poor 
fellow and would have carried their threat into execution, but 
that their leaders became alarmed and managed to let the 
scared wretch run away. He was never more seen in these 


The cases in which the Claim Association was called 
upon to take formal action were less numerous than those in 
which the people of the neighborhood in which some violation 
of claim law had been perpetrated, were summoned to meet 
and enforce by the power of numbers what they thought was 
justice in the case ; and after the lands had come into market 
the Claim Association assumed no further authority, yet the 
sacredness of claims was very generally enforced by a popular 
understanding that no man should be permitted to enter 
another's claim. 

When in 1843 the lands were offered for entry, many of the 
settlers had exhausted all of their means in making 
improvements, and were unable to raise the small sum 
demanded for entering their claims. These lands were now 
worth ten or fifteen dollars per acre ; and there was no law 
except this unwritten claim law to deter speculators from 
making them their own upon paying the government the dollar 
and a quarter an acre which it demanded. But so sacred 
were these claims regarded by these settlers, so strong was the 
prejudice against their being taken up by others, and so 
dangerous was it made for the person who tried it, that many 
valuable farms were occupied for two, three, and even five 
years after, by men who had never been able to raise the 
money to enter them, and who had no title whatever, to their 

In many cases, however, this regulation was violated, and in 
some instances mobs were raised who forced the offender to 
deed back the land to the claimant. These mobs, as is the 
case with mobs everywhere, even when moved by generous 
intentions, often failed to understand the merits of a case, and 
unwittingly did great injustice. 

In 1843, an old man named McLenathan, a resident of 
Sycamore, entered a farm which was claimed by Mr. John 
Mason of Burlington. The claim organization had then 
become inoperative ; but there was still this strong feeling in 
favor of protecting settlers in their claims, so that there was 


no great difficulty in raising a crowd to lynch the old man if 
he refused to deed back the land. He was living with Mr. 
David Finley near Ohio Grove, when on one cold morning in 
March a company of fifty young men mounted on horseback, 
surrounded Finley's house, and calling him out demanded 
that he deed over the land to Mason or he should be tarred 
and feathered. McLenathan said that Mason owed him money, 
that he did not want his land but merely to get security for 
his debt, and that if Mason would pay him his money he would 
deed him the land. This did not suit Mason, nor the crowd 
of excited followers, so without more ado they seized him, placed 
him on horseback and started oif for the woods. Here they 
dismounted, stripped the gray haired old man, poured on the 
tar and rubbed on a coating of feathers. 

" Now, old fellow, sign that deed, or Ave will drown you in 
yonder pond !" 

McLenathan still sturdily refused, whereupon they dragged 
him to the pond of water near by, and threw him in, some of 
them jumping on him and crowding him below the icy waters. 
Finally, nearly dead from the cold and more than half drowned, 
he consented to give up the land, and the deed was executed. 
The party did not then disperse, but adjourned to a school 
house near by, and there drew up and signed an agreement 
to protect at the risk of their lives, the right of all settlers in 
their claims. A week after, the company were summoned 
together to put their resolve in force, 

A Mr. Mann, of Burlington, had entered some land claimed 
by one of this party, and they were summoned to compel him 
to deed it back. An hundred of them were o-athered at this 
time, and armed with shot guns and rifles, they moved upon 
I he enemies' works. But this was a different undertaking 
from that of lynching the poor and friendless old McLenathan. 
The Manns were a numerous family, and had many friends. 
They had summoned them to their assistance, and when the 
party approached their residence they found it defended by a 
lar^e number of determined-looking men well armed with 


murderous-looking rifles. Not caring to risk their lives in an 
attack upon a fortress so well defended, they abandoned tins 
attempt and dispersed to their homes. 

Indictments were found in the Court of Kane County 
against a number of the party who assaulted McLenathan, but 
the matter had become so public there that a fair trial could 
not be had, and it was removed to Kendall County. The 
leading participants in this attack were convicted and 
heavily fined. 




About the confines of advancing civilization upon this 
continent, there has always hovered, like scouts before the 
march of an invading army, a swarm of bold, enterprising, 
adventurous criminals. The broad, untrodden prairies, the 
trackless forests, the rivers, unbroken by the keels of 
commeree, furnished admirable refuge for those whose crimes 
had driven them from the companionship of the honest and 
the law-abiding ; and, hovering there where courts and civil 
processes could furnish but a thin veil of protection for life or 
property, the temptation to prey upon the unprotected sons 
of toil, rather than to gain a livelihood by the slow process of 
peaceful industry, has proved too strong to be resisted. Some 
have sought these unpeopled western wilds for the express 
purpose of theft and robbery, some because they dare not live 
within reach of efficient laws, and some who came with honest 
intentions, have been tempted into crime by the prevalent 
immunity from punishment. Everywhere in newly-settled 
lands the proportion of the dishonest and criminal has been 
greater than in the older and better regulated communities. 
This was particularly the case in the earlier settlement of the 
prairies of DeKalb County. A strong and well constructed 
net-work of organized crime at that time stretched over this 
whole seetion of country, and few were fortunate enough to 
preserve all their property from being swept up in its meshes. 
A good horse and his equipments was the most easily captured, 
and most readily concealed — consequently the most coveted 
and dangerous property in the country. No possessor of a 


fleet and famous horse dared leave him for a single night, 
unless secured in a strong, double-locked stable, guarded by 
faithful dogs, and oftentimes by the owner himself, who 
regularly slept in his stable. During the first four years of 
the settlement of the country, a large portion of the population 
were obliged to keep an armed watchman every night, in order 
to secure any sense of safety to their valuable horses. Many 
an instance will old settlers relate of thieves detected by these 
watchmen, while engaged in breaking the stable locks, and 
fired upon, with more or less damage to the intruder. They 
were the more cautious, from the fact that a fleet horse once 
gone was gone forever. So skillfully were the plans of the 
thieves concocted, so much of energy and ingenuity was 
employed in rapidly forcing the stolen steeds at once to a 
great distance, so large the number of rascals who were 
connected, that pursuit and capture was difficult — even 
dangerous — and always unsuccessful. 

Brodie's Grove, near what is now the village of Dement, 
and near the west line of the present township of Malta, was 
a famous rendezvous and station-house of this gang of banditti. 
When Mr. Benjamin Worden lived there in 1840, he had a 
fine pair of horses, and much against his will felt forced to 
adopt the prevalent custom of sleeping in the barn with them 
to guard them. Old Brodie discovered that he made this a 
practice, and innocently asked him Avhy. He answered 
promptly and significantly, that there were many thieves about, 
and he feared he should have them stolen. The old man, who 
had taken a fancy to Ben., answered that he need not fear. 
His horses should not bo stolen. He would see to that, and 
warrant him that they should not be lost. The old man had 
the reputation of being one of the chiefs of the gang; and 
Worden, confident of his sincerity, ever afterwards considered 
them safe, as if guarded with bars of steel. About that time 
Worden had made some significant discoveries. Near the 
little grove was a large, circular depression of the prairie, 
called a sink-hole. In its center was a strong stake driven, 


and every indication about it that in that sheltered, obscure 
spot horses had been frequently tethered and fed. The 
Brodies were frequently coming and going, and every time 
upon a new horse, usually a very fine animal. What could 
all this mean, but systematic horse thieving ? 

But horses were not the only prey for these banditti. The 
circulation of counterfeit money was a large and profitable 
branch of business, and there were dark and ominous hints in 
circulation of yet fouler crimes perpetrated ; pedlars had 
mysteriously disappeared in that section of the country. They 
had been traced to the vicinity of this grove, but never traced 
beyond it. When the Brodies finally fled the country, there 
were found among their effects a suspiciously large number of 
travelers' trunks, pedlars' cases, and similar property, whose 
possession was most easily accounted for on the supposition 
that the murder of innocent travelers, pedlars, and other 
wayfarers, was not too heinous a crime for them to commit, if 
the temptation offered. Walking over the prairie one day in 
search of his cattle, Worden suddenly found the ground sinking 
beneath his feet, and he was precipitated into a large, square 
cavity, which had been carefully excavated, then covered with 
planks and soil, and carefully turfed over with growing grass. 
The soil taken out had been carefully removed, so that no 
traces of the excavation could be seen on the surface, and no 
suspicion of its existence there would be excited. Although 
no property was then in the cavern, yet the purpose for which 
it was designed was evident, and its proximity to the residence 
of the suspected Brodies indicated the origin and ownership 
of this place of concealment. Pages might be filled with stories 
told by the early settlers of circumstances which indicated 
plainly that Brodie's isolated Grove was one of the chief 
rendezvous of some of the most daring and skillful of those 
land pirates who at that early period roved over these billowy 
prairies, as pirates roam the seas. 

Six miles north of Brodie's is what is now called South 
Grove, so called because it was south of the main body of the 


Kishwaukie timber. David Driscoll was the first settler there, 
and for many years it was known as Driscoll's Grove. David 
had married a connection of the Brodies, and the families 
naturally became intimately associated. A year after David 
had settled there, his father, old John Driscoll, moved out 
with his family, and William Driscoll, his brother, with a 
family of six or seven children, bought David's claim, the 
father and David settling anew a few miles farther west, David 
on the banks of the Killbuck, and the father in what is now 
called Pennsylvania settlement, a few miles farther north. 

There is much reason to believe, and little reason to doubt, 
that the houses of David and John Driscoll were other station- 
houses on the route of this horse-thieving fraternity ; and it is 
not impossible that even after William Driscoll's purchase 
there, the Driscoll grove still furnished them shelter and 
refreshment. From thence their usual course was across to 
Gleason's at Genoa, or to Henpeck, now Hampshire, in Kane 
County, and thence north to McHenry County, where some 
men, now prominent as politicians and office-holders, were 
supposed to be connected with the gang. From thence it was 
not difficult to pass the stolen horses along to the pineries of 
Wisconsin, the mines at Galena, or to find a market for them 
at some of the young cities on the lake shore. In Ogle 
County on the west, and W r innebago on the northwest, the 
banditti were more numerous. There theft, counterfeiting, 
and the like crimes, constituted but a small part of the sworn 
duties of the gang. They were required to control elections, 
to secure the election of justices from among their friends, and 
in case of arrest, to furnish perjured testimony to secure their 
discharge. In the spring of 1841 seven of the gang had been 
arrested and confined in the new jail at Oregon. The court 
had assembled for their trial in the new Court House, just 
completed, when, on the night before the trial, the rogues 
assembled, and burned both buildings to the ground. But 
the prisoners did not escape. Their trial was proceeded with, 
and the evidence was found complete and conclusive. But 


one of the confederates had secured a place upon the jury. 
He would consent to no verdict of guilt. Then a novel method 
of securing a conviction was adopted. The eleven honest 
jurors seized the refractory twelfth, and threatened to lynch 
him in the jury room unless he gave his assent to the verdict 
of guilty. The rascal gave up his opposition, the verdict of 
guilty was received, and the three criminals Avere sentenced 
to imprisonment for a year. They all, however, broke out of 
jail and escaped. 

Such outrages as these naturally aroused a strong and bitter 
opposition among the honest people of the land. They would 
be more or less than men who should submit tamely to them. 
Neither life nor property being protected by the laws, some 
additional, more stringent, if less merciful, measures must be 
adopted. The settlers met by universal consent, and 
organized a band of lynchers. The Ogle County Lynching 
Club was the title of the organization, although its membership 
extended over Winnebago and Lee Counties as well. In the 
spring and early summer of 1841, there were held numerous 
meetings of these Regulators, or Lynching Clubs, and their 
armed bands, mounted or on foot, traversed the country, 
delivering warnings and threatenings to those whom they 
suspected of being confederated in the gangs of banditti. 
" You are given twenty or thirty days to leave the country, 
and if found here after that time you will be lynched," was 
the brief and threatening message which condemned the 
suspected party, without a trial, to banishment, at whatever 
sacrifice of his property, and at whatever sudden sundering of 
the ties which bound him to his home. It was not strange 
that such messages provoked strong, indignant opposition. 
Crime always finds or imagines some justification for its evil 
deeds, and at least is apt to retort that its acts are no worse, 
only more bold, than those of its pursuers. And it was true 
in this case, that although the original organization of the 
Lynching Club was supported by many men of undoubted 
probity and worth, although the staid Puritan, the upright 


justice, the honest lawyer, the clergyman even, were on its 
rolls of membership, yet there were also men of the baser 
sort, — men who used the organization for the purpose of 
wreaking vengeance on their personal enemies — men who were 
capable of manufacturing false statements to secure the 
destruction of their foes ; yes ! there were even horse-thieves 
themselves among the most active and prominent of those who 
were lynching others for the same nefarious practice. 

The Lynching Clubs duly organized, they met by mutual 
agreement, and selected John Long, of Stillman's Run, the 
proprietor of a fine saw-mill just erected there, as captain of 
the combined companies. Soon after, in the performance of 
his duties, he headed a detachment of the lynchers, who seized 
one Daggett, -who was residing near what is now Greenough's 
Ford in the town of Franklin, and, tying him up, gave him a 
severe flogging, at the same time ordering him to leave the 
country. Not long after these events, the mill of Mr. Long 
was set on fire and destroyed ; and although no direct evidence 
was obtained of Daggett's connection with the deed, yet 
circumstances pointed strongly to him as the perpetrator of 
the crime. About the same time one Lyman Powell was 
seized upon the road between Driscoll's and the Killbuck. 
lie seems to have been really a harmless, inoffensive man, 
lame, and destitute of any settled occupation. But he was 
an associate of the suspected Driscolls, worked at threshing 
and other odd jobs for them and others. The Lynching 
Company questioned him closely, to draw from him some 
evidence of the criminality of himself or his associates, but 
not succeeding to their liking, they beat him cruelly with 
hickory withes, and taking from him the horse he rode, they 
turned him adrift. He afterwards went to the place where 
he had bought his horse, and furnishing satisfactory proof 
that it was honestly obtained, it was returned to him. About 
the same time a threatening letter was sent to Long, defying 
the society to combat, and threatening personal violence. Mr. 
Long, being intimidated by these acts, called his band together 


and resigned his office, and Mr. John Campbell, of White 
Rock Grove, in Ogle County, was chosen in his stead. Mr. 
Campbell was a very exemplary man, a good Christian, a 
member of the Baptist Church, a father and a grandfather. 

In June of this year, Judge Ford, afterwards Governor of 
the State, and its historian, was holding court in Sycamore, 
when news came down that an armed body of men, magnified 
by people's fears to a large army, was marching through the 
western portion of the County, threatening acts of violence. 
The Judge, considering such proceedings to be contrary to 
the peace and dignity of the State, resolved to send a formal 
embassy to inquire what were their objects and intentions. 
Frederick Love, the Probate Judge, the District Attorney, 
Farewell, of Ottawa, the Sheriff of the County, Morris Walrod, 
and William A. Miller, a well-known citizen, were selected as 
the embassy, and started out on the Oregon State Road to 
search for the invading army. A mile or two beyond 
Driscoll's Grove it was found encamped for rest and 
refreshment. It was discovered to be the Ivnchers, to the 
number of one hundred and fifty, or thereabouts, headed by 
Captain Campbell. After a long and friendly conversation, 
Captain Campbell, without hesitation, displayed the constitu- 
tion of the club for their inspection. It required its mem- 
bers to scour the country, investigate the character of sus- 
pected persons, warn them, if probably guilty, to leave the 
country, and lynch them if they refused. Campbell explained 
that they did not desire to interfere with the courts, but to 
aid and assist them in the enforcement of justice in cases 
which they were unable to reach. The commission had a 
friendly visit, and returning, made a very favorable report to 
the Judge, who seemed indisposed to make any opposition to 
their proceedings, but rather to favor them than otherwise. 
It was, perhaps, upon this identical scouting excursion that 
Campbell, as chief of the club, visited the Driscolls, one and 
all, and warned them that unless they left the country within 
twenty days they would be lynched. To David Driscoll he 


said : " If after that time you are found east of the Mis- 
sissippi river, we will brand your cheeks with R. S., and crop 
your ears, so that none shall fail to know your character as a 
rogue and a scoundrel wherever you may be seen." Is it 
strange that all the tiger passions in the human heart should 
be roused by words like these ? 

There was a gathering of some of the gang soon after. 
The Brodies, the Driscolls, the Bridges, the Barrets, were all 
there ; stern, fearless, determined outlaws, exasperated to 
madness by the threats which had been served upon them, 
indignant as more honest men would have been at the stern 
summons to abandon their homes and firesides to their ene- 
mies, and fly like hounds before them. 

Various modes of resistance were talked of. It was pro- 
posed to gather together at Driscoll's grove, fortify them- 
selves there, and defend their position with their lives. Some 
counseled a compliance with the order, and an abandonment 
of their homes. But the most feasible plan they could im- 
agine was one that best suited their crafty and revengeful 
natures. It had been tried in Iowa, and worked successfully 
there. William Driscoll had been in Iowa the previous 
winter, and he had told the story. It was simple, and easily 
executed. It was merely to shoot the captain of the Regu- 
lators. Long had been frightened into resigning by merely 
burning his mill. Let his successor be shot, and no person 
would dare to risk his life as its captain ; so the organization 
would necessarily become extinct. This course was resolved 
upon, the agents in the tragedy were selected, and the meet- 
ing dispersed. 

Was William Driscoll present at that meeting ? 

There are many reasons for supposing he was not. It was 
generally thought by those who knew him best that he was 
not connected with any of the criminal acts of his father and 
brothers. Those who had known him from infancy asserted 
that he was an exception in the family. The family, even 
while residing in Ohio, were noted as criminals. The father 


had served his five years in the penitentiary, and some of the 
sons, perhaps, deserved the same punishment. But William 
was known as a marked exception. He was a man of noble 
bearing — generous, hospitable, industrious — possessor of a 
large property, which he was known to have honestly ac- 
quired, one of the leading farmers of the County. No one 
could point to any crime that he was guilty of, or even seri- 
ously suspected of. His chief sin was that he was one of the 
Driscolls, and he suffered the fate of poor dog Tray for the 
same reason — he was found in bad company. 

On the Sunday morning following this meeting, the old 
man Driscoll was seen about the premises of Campbell. He 
walked around the grounds, passed up to a clump of bushes, 
closely observed the location, and soon went away. He 
might that night have easily gone home, but he did not. lie 
stayed at a neighbor's without any apparent reason, and slept 
there. Was it because he knew that a foul crime was about 
to be committed, and he wanted to prove an alibi? It was 
so supposed. That evening just at dusk, Captain Campbell, 
who had returned from attending Church at Rockford, was 
passing from his dwelling to his stable, when he was accosted 
by two men who inquired the road to Oregon. His wife 
heard him call out "Driscoll," and immediately after there 
was the report of a gun, and as she rushed toward him he fell 
lifeless in her arms, shot through the heart. The two men 
immediately and deliberately walked off* in the direction of 
Driscoll's Grove. The brave son of Campbell — a lad of 
thirteen years — seized his father's gun, rushed toward the 
retreating murderers and snapped it at them three times, but 
the effort to avenge the murder was unavailing : the gun did 
not go off. The murderers disappeared in the distance, and 
the grief-stricken family was left alone with the lifeless corpse 
of its honored head. 

It will be readily understood that this shocking murder 
caused a prodigious excitement throughout the whole country. 
Swift couriers roused the entire region with the startling 


intelligence, and summoned all the clans to meet at once and 
devise means to secure and punish the murderers of their 
chief. Detachments were sent out with the morning's light 
to scour the country in search for the guilty pair, but the 
pursuit was unsuccessful. David and Taylor Driscoll were 
understood to he the two who had committed the crime, but 
they could nowhere be discovered. The scouts in their 
search discovered a spot upon the prairie, a. half-mile from 
the scene of the murder, where three horses had been held 
while they closely cropped the herbage that grew there, and 
there was some reason to suppose that a wretch named Bridge, 
who has never since been seen in this section of country, was 
the man who held, ready for instant use, the horses of his 
companions, while they committed the murder. None of 
these men could be found; but the old man Driscoll was taken 
at his house by one party, and, in spite of his protestations 
of innocence and ignorance of the Avhole matter, and of the 
proof he presented of his absence from the scene at the time 
of its perpetration, he was carried off, his house set on fire 
and burned to the ground. The house of David Driscoll was 
also burned and his family left shelterless upon the open 

Toward evening a party reached Driscoll's Grove, and set- 
ting their guards about it to prevent any escape, they 
went up to William Driscoll's cabin and took him and his 
young brother, Pierce, into custody. William had been the 
first to tell, the story of the murder to the settlers at the 
grove. lie had been in Sycamore on that day, and while 
there Mr. Hamlin, the postmaster, had called him into his 
office and read to him the startling news, which the Post- 
master at Oregon City had written on his package of letters 
for Chicago, that, passing through all the offices on the route 
it might speedily spread the news far and wide. William 
seemed surprised and saddened by the intelligence : it boded 
no good to him. He had perhaps expected to be taken and 
tried, for he went quietly with his captors, making no objee- 


tion or resistance. Conscious of his own innocence, he said 
he felt sure of acquittal. They told him that they merely 
wanted him to go before Mrs. Campbell, at White Rock, that 
she might see if he was the man who had killed her husband. 
Toward evening they arrived at the house where the corpse 
of the murdered chief of the lynchers was still lying, and 
where the wailing widow still mourned her sudden and awful 
bereavement. The two Driscolls were brought to her view, 
and without any hesitation she said that neither of them was 
present at the murder. The son who had followed and tried 
to shoot the assassins, was equally confident that neither of 
the prisoners were of the guilty pair. But the party of ex- 
cited men who had gathered at the scene of the assassination 
were eager to avenge the death of their leader, and cried 
aloud for victims. Those whom they had captured were of 
the family of the murderers. 

The country was ringing with the cry that the Driscolls 
had done the murder, and these were Driscolls. The clans 
would meet there on the morrow, and these men should be 
kept and put at their disposal. So saying they placed them 
for the night in the upper chamber of the Campbell house, 
and a guard was set round to prevent their escape. It was 
not a vigilant guard, and as the night wore on the sleepless 
captives talked of attempting an escape. " They are deter- 
mined to kill us to-morrow," said Pierce — "I can see it in 
their looks and manner." 

"No," said William, "we can prove our innocence so 
strongly that they can not fail to discharge us." 

And after a long whispering discussion of the chances, the 
stern determination of the elder brother prevailed, and they 
concluded to remain. With the dawn of the morning a large 
gathering of the lynchers had collected from the country 
around. Many of the most respectable citizens of that sec- 
tion of country, such as the Cheneys, of White Rock, who 
had hitherto looked with some disfavor upon the summary 
proceedings of the lynchers, now gave up their opposition and 









freely imbibed, they soon became like a band of raving 
enrolled themselves as its members, and became the sternest 
and most sanguinary of the band. At an early hour the 
clans from the remoter settlements came in. There was a 
company from Payne's Point, led by Wellington ; from the 
Pennsylvania settlement, led by Dr. Hubbard ; from Oregon 
City, led by a Methodist clergyman, by the name of Crist, 
and a company from Daysville, a flourishing little town, that 
has since gone to decay, which Avas commanded by one Capt. 

White Rock Grove, a small belt of timber not far from the 
larger and better known Washington Grove, in Ogle County, 
had been selected as the place of rendezvous for the lynchers, 
and thither the band, with their prisoners, wended their way. 
The three Driscolls were carried in one wagon, with ropes 
about their necks. It had become evident to the captives 
that their trial was to be n mere farce, and that their fate 
was already sealed. Overwhelmed by the horrors of their 
situation, they sat stupid and dazed. 

But meantime the friends of William Driscoll had not been 
entirely idle. At the moment of his arrest a messenger was 
dispatched to Sycamore to procure the attendance at the trial 
of some who knew of his innocence, and as they arrived upon 
the ground where two hundred of the infuriated lynchers were 
raging around their doomed victims, a couple of wagons were 
driven up containing a few of his defenders. Among these 
were J. R. Hamlin, Timothy Wells, and Frank Spencer, of 
Sycamore, and Benjamin Worden and Solomon Wells, of 
Driscoll's Grove. The lynching club of llockford had not 
yet arrived, and an hour was spent in waiting for their com- 
ing. Near the place of the mock trial was a distillery, and 
during the delay a barrel of whisky was rolled out from it, 
its head removed, and the thirsty crowd regaled themselves 
with its fiery contents. Maddened by a sense of indignation 
at the outrages of the banditti whom they were organized to 
oppose, infuriated by the brutal murder of their own honored 
chief, and driven to frenzy by the fiery fluid which they 


wolves, and it was evident that no mercy, not even strict 
justice would be meted out to their captives. 

The little band of those who knew William, and believed 
in his innocence, endeavored to encourage him to hope for an 
acquittal. But "no," said he, "they will kill me, but they 
will kill an innocent man." 

The club from Rockford soon arrived. It was led by 
Jason Marsh, a well known citizen of that place, by Mr. 
Robertson, the postmaster of the town, and by Charles Lat- 
timer, a young lawyer, who was subsequently killed in a 
street fig-lit in Wisconsin. 

Upon their arrival a circle was formed, and a lawyer 
named Leland, who has since occupied the bench in Illinois, 
as a Judge of the Circuit Court, was chosen as the presiding 
officer. Seating himself upon the ground at the foot of a 
tree, he had the old man Driscoll brought into the ring and 
arraigned before him. 

"What are the charges against this man," said he. 

It was a natural and pertinent question, but it rather con" 
fused the lynchers. There was some hesitation among them, but 
at last one and another charged him with certain minor offences. 

The main charge was a general cry that he was one of the 
horse-thieving fraternity, and that they were afraid of their 
lives if he should be released. 

The old man stoutly denied most of the charges, but he ad- 
mitted that he had stolen a yoke of cattle in Ohio, and one 
who "was present says that he also admitted the theft of fifty 
horses in Ohio, without detection, but that he was caught in 
stealing the fifty-first, and served five years in the peniten- 
tiary, at Columbus, for it. "When I came out," said he "I 
resolved to lead an honest life. I moved away to this county, 
and I have since kept my pledge." 

A very few minutes were spent in the mockery of a trial, 
when Leland put the question, " What shall be done with this 
man ? " 

Some one started up and moved that "we shoot him." 


The Judge put it to vote, and it was carried with a shout of 

The old man was taken out of the ring, and William Dris- 
coll was taken in. lie was a large, noble-looking man, and 
if the party had not been frenzied with rage and liquor, 
would have excited some respect. Accusations against him 
were called for. Few could charge any crime whatever ; but 
a circumstance that excited suspicion, and that had been 
much talked about, was mentioned. It was, that he must 
have been in the secret of the murder of Campbell, because 
he first reported it at Driscoll's Grove and in that section of 
country. We have already seen that he got the information 
about it from Mr. Hamlin, the postmaster at Hamlin, who had 
come especially to explain this suspicious circumstance, now 
tried to get a hearing. He asked to be permitted to say a 
word or two, but was met with a storm of hisses, and shouts 
of " no, not a word." 

Spencer and Wells, who had made some defense of the ac- 
cused, and got excited in the discussion, had already been 
seized and placed under guard. A move was made to take 
Hamlin also, but Leland cried out that he had a right to be 
heard, and he was permitted to make his statement. Driscoll 
also talked a little. He said he had lived honestly and done 
no injustice to any one, unless it was that in a certain trade 
on one occasion, he had afterward thought he did not do quite 
right. Nothing was of any avail. The crowd cried " Shoot 
him, shoot him," and he was led out of the ring. 

There was no evidence whatever against the boy Pierce, 
and he was discharged. 

There was a motion, then, to give them an hour to prepare 
for death, and to give them the benefit of clergy, which, as 
they construed it, was to furnish a clergyman to talk and 
pray with them. Crist, the preacher, Captain of the band 
from Oregon City, went to the open whisky barrel, drank a 
dipper full of its fiery contents, and then knelt down and 
prayed, long and noisily. William Driscoll joined him audi- 
bly, but the old man took no notice of what was transpiring. 


Hamlin, meanwhile, moved around among the excited crowd 
endeavoring to secure a postponement of the execution, or, if 
possible, a commutation of the sentence to banishment beyond 
the Mississippi, within twenty-four hours. 

Lcland, the presiding officer, favored the project, and while 
unwilling to do much himself, urged Hamlin to keep up the 
excitement in favor of mercy. Phelps, clerk of the Ogle 
County Court, favored it. McFarland was also active in 
support of this movement, and they finally got the party called 
together ao;ain, and moved for an extension of the time, but 
the majority, led by the Cheneys, Marsh and others, were 
bitterly opposed to it, and fairly hooted it down. The time 
had now expired, and the gray-haired old man was brought 
out, blindfolded, and told to kneel upon the grass. The 
lynchers drew up in a long line, with guns in their hands. 
A number, unwilling to take part in the execution, stood 
round in the rear, and their guns w r ere leaning against the 
rees. Marsh shouted that all must join in, and he movd thn f 
all the guns left standing there be whipped up against the 
trees. Upon this the guns were all taken, and the men fell 
into line. A Justice from White Rock was marshall and 
gave the order to fire. The fatal one, two, three was called, 
and at the word three an hundred guns were discharged, and 
the lifeless body of the old man fell over like a bag of wheat. 

Then William Driscoll was led out by the side of the bloody 
body of his father, and he, too, shared the same fate. Not a 
muscle moved in either of them : so many well-aimed bullets 
pierced them, that but for the bandages that covered their 
eyes, their heads would have fallen into fragments. The 
bodies were thrown into a brush-heap, and the crowd dis- 
persed to their homes. Some pitying hand partially covered 
the corpses with a foot or two of earth, and a couple of weeks 
later, when the popular excitement had somewhat subsided, 
the Driscolls having found, in Mr. R. P. Watson, a friend 
who dared public opinion so far as to make coffins for them, 
and they were quietly removed and decently buried in Dris- 
coll's Grove. 


The crowd returning destroyed what remained of the loo- 
houses and barns of both the father and the son David, to 
make sure that the whole race should be driven from the 
country. No one dared harbor or take the houseless family 
in, and for two or three weeks they lived in a corn-crib amidst 
the ruins. 

Probably no one at this time will justify this sanguinary 
act of execution ; none, perhaps doubt that it resulted in the 
death of at least one innocent man. No doubt the leading 
men engaged in it thought they were doing right. It is cer- 
tain that it resulted in dispersing the whole gang of banditti, 
and giving peace and security to a section of country that had 
hitherto been subjected to frequent outrages and constant 

David Driscoll has never since been seen in this country : 
he fled to the uninhabited wilderness across the Mississippi, 
and his fate is unknown. 

Six years after these occurrences Taylor Driscoll returned, 
and being seen in McIIenry County, was arrested and 
brought to trial for the murder of Captain Campbell. 

The witnesses against him all depended upon the testimony 
of the widow of Campbell, who swore positively that Taylor 
Driscoll was the man who fired the shot that killed her hus- 
band. Although six years had passed, she said she knew 
him perfectly, and that she never was mistaken in identifying 
a person whom she had once known. 

But in the course of a vigilant cross-examination, by Mr. 
Barry of Driscoll's counsel, she was induced to swear with 
equal certainty, that upon a more recent occasion she had 
seen Pierce Driscoll at a certain time and place. She was as 
positive of it as she was that she had seen Taylor Driscoll 
shoot her husband. It happened, however, that she was mis- 
taken in this. It was proved beyond a question that it was 
not Pierce but another brother, who closely resembled him, 
whom she had then seen, and that Pierce was forty miles 
away at this time. The jury finding her thus mistaken in 
identifying a person whom she had seen only a few months 


before, were easily persuaded that she might have been equally 
mistaken in testifying to the identity of Taylor, whom she had 
not seen for six years, and they gave him a verdict of ac- 

But the investigations of the writer of this history have led 
him upon evidence, which he is not permitted to divulge, 
which fully convinces him that Mrs. Campbell was right, and 
that Taylor Driscoll was really the murderer of Campbell. 




During the years 1847 and 1848, the inhabitants of the 
village of St. Charles, in Kane County, and of that section of 
the country which surrounded it, were kept in an unpleasant 
state of excitement by a suspicion that the graves of their 
friends, whose remains they had buried, were being invaded 
and robbed by the faculty and students of a medical institute 
located at that place, which was under the charge of one Dr. 
Richards. Two or three graves of honored citizens of that 
place had been examined, and discovered to be emptied of 
their precious contents. Many who had recently lost friends 
commenced the painful task of examining their newly made 
graves, while many others only refrained from it lest they 
should find their fears realized and that the outrage so hope- 
less of redress had been consummated. To the gloom and 
terrors which surround every death-bed were added the dread 
surmise, that even the grave was no secure resting place for 
the sacred remains of the dead. The restlessness, the irrita- 
tion, the indignation that was caused by this feeling may 
readily be imagined. 

But until the spring of 1849 it was not known, nor gen- 
erally suspected, that the reckless grave robbers extended 
their depredations beyond the near vicinity of the hated in- 

It was one gloomy afternoon in March of that year, that 
three young men, driving a pair of horses attached to a large 
spring-wagon, stopped for supper at the well-known tavern 
kept by Mr. James Lovell, on the Sycamore and St. Charles 
road, near Ohio Grove. A few words of the conversation 


between the party caught the quick car of the landlord's 
daughter, who waited on the table, and startled her with the 
suspicion that the party were body-snatchers, designing to 
rob some grave in that vicinity. She communicated her sus- 
picions to her father, who at first paid no attention to them, 
but on second thought sent out a boy, quietly, to search their 
wagon. The lad returned and reported that, concealed be- 
neath the buffalo robe in the bottom of the wagon, were a 
couple of spades, ropes, hoops, etc. — all the tools required for 
that ghastly trade. This left no room for doubt about their 
intentions, and landlord Lovell at once determined to set 
means at work to defeat their purpose, and capture them in 
the guilty act if possible. 

Pie dispatched one of his boys out on the west road to Mr. 
II. A. Joslyn's and Mr. Levias Dow's, notifying them that 
the resurrectionists were coming that way, and asking them 
to follow and watch the rascals. He thought over the names 
and locations of those who had been buried in that section of 
country within the space of a few Aveeks. Among the healthy, 
hardy pioneers who then inhabited the country, a death was 
a rare occurrence, and none were consigned to mother earth 
without the knowledge, and, indeed, the presence, of most of 
the inhabitants for miles around. 

Two bodies had been interred within a short period. One 
was that of a friendless German, who had been buried in that 
South Burying Ground in the village of Sycamore, from 
which the bodies have this year been removed. The other 
was the corpse of the fair young bride of Mr. George M. 
Ivinyon, which but a few days before had been conveyed to 
the grave-yard of the Baptist Church, near Ohio Grove, in 
the present town of Cortland. 

Leaving his friendly neighbor Josyln, to look out for raids 
upon the Sycamore grave-yard, he made his own way down 
to Mr. David Churchill, the father of the late Mrs. Kinyon, 
and Avarned him to guard the sane tity of her grave. 

Meantime the grave robbers had passed on toward the 
village of Sycamore, and Harry Josyln, lying concealed by 


the road fence, had seen thein pass in the growing darkness, 
and quietly followed them. 

They made some considerable delay in the village, which 
delay Mr. Josyln employed in rousing some of his neighbors 
from their slumbers, and in watching and arranging them. 
Mr. Herman Furners, a constable, was made leader of the 
party, to which was added Lorenzo Whittmore, John A. 
Waterman, E. P. Young, and one or two others. 

When the wagon had turned down Soonmank street and 
stopped near the grave-yard, this party of detectives, divided 
into three squads and so posted as to enable them to cut off 
all chance of escape, were lying down in the grass and await- 
ing developments. Four men got out of the wagon and 
clambered into the burying ground. One, after a moment's 
delay there, Avas seen making his way back to the village. 
The watchers thought that they recognized in this person the 
figure of a resident physician of the village, and imagined 
that he came to point out the location of the grave, but the 
obscure light may have deceived them — they may have been 

Unfortunately, at this critical juncture, one of the hidden 
watchers was seized with an uncontrollable fit of coughing. 
The noise startled the guilty party, who ran for their wagon, 
and were jumping into it, when Constable Furness seized the 
horses and demanded a surrender. They were thoroughly 
alarmed, and their fright was not lessened by Waterman 
answering their question as to what would be done with them, 
by the promise to shoot them in the morning. 

Thoroughly cowed, they were taken back to the village 
tavern, and were there recognized as students from Dr. 
Richards' Medical School. One was a son of the Doctor, 
another a charity student by the name of Rude, who it was 
reported paid for his medical education by furnishing bodies 
for dissection. The name of the third was unknown. 

The captors sent at once for Mr. E. L. Mayo, the principal 
lawyer of the town, but after consultation he concluded that 


there was not sufficient evidence of their guilt to warrant 
their detention. They were released, and joyfully fled away 
in the darkness. 

Meantime the Churchills and Kinyons had spent the night 
in watching the grave of the lost daughter and wife, but all 
was quiet there. Morning came, and they examined it closely. 
There was no visible evidence of its having been disturbed. 
Tavo of her girlish friends, uneasy at the stories about grave 
robbers which had been circulated through the country, had, 
with tender thoughtfulness, laid a twine over it which they 
fastened on each side as a means of detection. This was still 
in its position. But something made the friends still un- 
certain and uneasy. They determined to dig down and assure 
themselves, if possible, that the sanctity of her last resting- 
place had, indeed, not been invaded. The excavation had 
proceeded but a couple of feet, when their fears were con- 
firmed by finding in the soil the comb with which her hair 
had been confined. The father and husband were excited 
almost to frenzy by the discovery, and, dropping their spades, 
ran round like madmen, with heartrending groans and bitter 
tears. Reaching the coffin at last, it was found emptied of 
its precious contents, the grave-clothes alone remaining with- 
in it. 

The news of this discovery quickly spread over the country 

around. Mr. David Churchill was a noble old man, honored 
and loved by the whole community, and the grief and indig- 
nation which tortured him and the relatives were shared by 
the entire community. It was certain that this grave had 
been desecrated. No one knew how many more in this 
region had also been violated. A party of twelve of the rela- 
tives and neighbors was speedily made up, to go to the Medi- 
cal College and demand the return of the body. They went 
without delay, and on arriving there a search warrant was 
procured, and they proceeded to examine the premises. But 
they were an hour too late. When they entered the town 
they saw there a horse belonging to a physician of their own 


neighborhood. It was splashed with mud and foaming with 
perspiration. It was evident that its owner, who had formerly 
been a student of Richards' Institute, had heard of their in- 
tention, and ridden post-haste, to warn his medical associates 
of the danger of their detection. They had spirited away 
the body, and it could nowhere be found. In the laro;e stone 
building, formerly a barn, which served as a lecture and dis- 
secting room, they found fragments of human bodies, and in 
the loft above a half decayed skeleton was hung up to dry ; 
but none of them were recognized as parts of that dear form 
which these distressed relatives sought. 

The fruitless search was nearly completed, when the quick 
eye of the bereaved husband discerned upon the stone flag- 
ging of the floor, a lock of golden hair. It was the precise, 
peculiar shade of his lost wife's hair, and he knew it in an 
instant. It was not evidence enough to convince a jury, per- 
haps, but it satisfied him. If he had any doubts before, they 
were all gone now. lie begged piteously for the return of 
what might be left of the remains of his wife. But Richard?, 
who seems to have been a coarse and brutal fellow, treated 
the party with anger and contempt. 

"I have no subjects' now," said he, " but if you will come 
again in a few days I will have a lot of 'em, and from out 
your way, too." 

Discouraged and disheartened, the party went back to their 
homes. They knew that the body was there ; they thought 
with horror of the dear form of their loved and lost one 
carved and gashed, and made the sport of a mob of heartless 
medical butchers. But, alas, they saw no hope of securing 
it — no prospect of redress. 

To their neighbors they told the story of their reception ; 
they showed the lock of hair. Their indignation was uni- 
versal. Some of them taunted the young widower with a 
lack of courage, because he had not, upon the spot, taken the 
life of the villain, who, to tin- injury he had done him by the 
robbery, had added the insult of such coarse, brutal, taunting 


language. With one accord, the people pledged themselves 
to go back next day with them, in a body too strong to be re- 
sisted, and to force the rascals to yield up their prey. 

About nine o'clock next morning forty stalwart men, the 
best citizens of the country around, armed with guns, pistols 
and clubs, gathered together in the village of Sycamore, and 
starts 1 again on the journey of twenty miles, to rescue the 
remains of the lost child of their neighbor and friend. As 
their wagons passed in procession along the road, the neigh- 
boring farmers in both counties, learning the purpose of the 
expedition, joined it with determined good will, and before 
they reached St. Charles, its numbers had quadrupled. As 
they n eared the town they halted and gathered together, 
selected a committee of five of their party to go forward and 
demand the return of the body, and give the inmates of the 
Institute fair warning that the consecpuence of a further refusal 
would be the destruction of their buildings, if not of the lives 
of the inmates. 

The Committee consisted of Esquire Currier of St. Charles, 
John C. Wateriman, Willam Fordham, Lorenzo Whittemore 
and Kimball Dow, of Sycamore. 

Backed up by most of the party, the Committee proceeded 
to the house. Richards met them at the door, and within 
were his family and some dozen or more of his students. 
Pistols were seen in his side pocket, and behind the door 
were a number of guns. He was still heartless, impudent 
and defiant. He denied any knowledge about the body they 
sought for, but said perhaps his students could account for it. 

A good deal of angry conversation passed between the 
parties. Rude, the student, who had been detected in the 
crime at Sycamore, was particularly active, and Kinyon, al- 
though he had never before seen him and did not know him to 
be that one, yet took an instinctive aversion to him, and could 
hardly be restrained from shooting him upon the spot. 

The Committee went back and consulted with their party. 
It was evident that nothing was to be gained by parley. 


Kinyon was determined to recover the corpse of* his wife, or 
make a corpse of him who robbed her grave. They resolved 
to capture the place by storm, seize Richards and take him 
into Fox River, then hold him under water until he would 
reveal the place where the body was concealed. In the mean- 
time some Germans had been found who said that on the 
Sunday previous, a German friend who had worked for Rich- 
ards had shown them, in the dissecting room, the corpse of a 
golden-haired young woman, whose appearance perfectly cor- 
responded with the description of Mrs. Kinyon. This added 
to their confidence that the brutal Richards was still in pos- 
session of her remains, and they were sure that nothing but 
violence would induce him to restore them. Headed by 
David Churchill, the noble old father of the deceased, and 
Kinyon, the youthful widower, a party of thirty marched up 
to the building and made a rush upon the door, and as the 
pressure forced it partly open, the muzzle of a gun was thrust 
out and fired. It would have proved fatal to some of the 
party had not Churchill forced down the barrel so that the 
bullet struck the stone pavement and bounded over their 
heads. This first act of war was followed by a shot from 
Kinyon, who raised his gun and fired blindly through the 
door. Fate directed, his bullet to the death of the man who 
had really been the robber of the grave. Rude was pierced 
through the hips, and was borne away fatally wounded. A 
number of shots followed on both sides, and those of the 
crowd outside, who had no guns, hurled stones from the street 
till every glass and sash in the house was shivered to atoms. 
Old Gilman Smith, of Sycamore, who had been a soldier of 
the war of 1812, was conspicuous for his coolness. He 
loaded and fired, whenever he saw any part of a person ex- 
posed, with as much coolness and deliberation as if he was 
shooting at squirrels. It is said that he put two bullets 
through Richards, one through his lungs and another in his 
leg. During a pause in the battle, Richards, now thoroughly 
cowed and bloody with his terrible wounds, came out to ap- 
peal for mercy. 


"You have killed two of us," said he, "now, for God's 
sake, stop and go away." 

Just then a large stone struck his head and prostrated him. 
He crawled back into his house and Avas laid upon a couch. 

Soon after, the students were seen escaping from the rear 
of the building, and Henry Thrall rather cruelly poured a 
charge of small shot into the rear of one of them as lie clamb- 
ered over a wall. The assaulting party now crowded into 
the house. They found it fearfully riddled, and occupied 
only by the two wounded men. Small mercy they gave to 
their misfortunes. 

"Now," said one to Richards, "now your students can 
have a subject without sending to DeKalb County for it." 

But Richards still refused to give up the body, and as it 
seemed impossible to get any satisfaction, and as warrants 
were out to arrest the party as rioters, they retreated in an 
orderly manner across the river. As they passed through 
the town the ladies cheered them from their windows, with 
waving handkerchiefs and encouraging words. The popular 
indignation at the outrages of the men of the Institute was 
nowhere greater than in their own town. 

Night now came on and another — a night attack — was ex- 
pected by the occupants of the establishment. The bridge 
across the river had been carried away, and only a temporary 
foot-bridge accommodated passengers, while teams crossed at 
the fords. The town's people and the friends of Richards 
established guards at three points and halted every person 
who attempted to cross. They did also what was more ef- 
fectual. They sent to Napervillc for William D. Barry (a St. 
Charles laAvyer then temporarily absent), who knew Church- 
ill, the leader of the invaders, and upon whom he would place 
confidence. Barry arrived late at night, and as soon as he 
learned the situation crossed over to the little hotel on the 
west side, which was the headquarters of the invading party. 
After a long pacific conversation he urged them all to go 
home in the morning, promising upon his honor, that the 


body should be speedily returned to them it' it was in ex- 
istence " You can cross the river again and kill some more 
of them," said lie, "and some of you will as certainly be 
killed also, but what good will all that do ? You can never 
get the body in that way. Take my word for it, the body 
shall be given up to you." 

. They took his word for it and next morning they went, but 
left word that if the promise was not fulfilled, they would 
come again and destroy the entire establishment. 

Barry had promised more than he was quite authorized to 
promise, but he now took measures to redeem his word. lie 
summoned John F. Farnsworth, a lawyer of the town, Dr. 
Hard, who was a brother-in-law of Farnsworth, and had some 
acquaintance with the affairs of the College, to a secret con- 
sultation at his office. Contrary to his expectations, Dr. 
Hard could tell nothing about the body, but after a long talk 
the Doctor sallied out to see if he could not find some one 
who could. He brought back a young medical student 
named Harvey, who, it seemed, alone knew the exact spot 
where the corpse was concealed, and after a multitude of 
pledges of secrecy, he promised to reveal to Barry, alone, the 
place of its concealment on the following night. 

In the gloom of that night the two started out on the search 
and, after some miles of travel through the woods, they came 
to a spot upon the banks of the Fox River, within a few rods 
of tin; village of Geneva, which Harvey pointed out as the 
grave of Mrs. Kinyon. Harvey, who had now revealed 
enough knowledge of the affair to make him liable to arrest, 
and at least to subject him to the vengeance of the relatives, 
if they ever discovered his connection with it, now told Barry 
that he would leave the country forever. He bid him good- 
bye, started out in the darkness, and was never more seen in 
this section of country. 

Barry then went to Geneva, roused from his slumbers Mr. 
Danforth, who then kept a kind of cabinet shop there, and 
ordered a coffin to be ready next night at midnight, specify- 


ing no purpose for which it was to be used, but enjoined the 
closest secrecy. Determined that no person should be known 
as having been connected with the affair, he now contrived a 
plan for returning it to the relatives, without their knowing 
whence or through whom it came. 

Old Mr. Prescott, of St. Charles, who was a distant rela- 
tive of the Churchills, and had been active in an effort to aid 
the recovery of the remains, found next day upon his door 
step an anonymous note, very cautiously worded, but giving 
him to understand, that if he would go alone with a Avagon, at 
a certain hour on the following morning, to a designated spot 
in the' woods, on the west of the river, he would find the body. 

It was the midnight following, that Mi-. Barn', accompan- 
ied by a. young man named Nelson, stopped at Danforth's, 
took the rude coffin which had been prepared for him, and 
drove back again to the spot where the body was buried. 
Nelson, who was sworn to secrecy, as to ail that might trans- 
pire that night, was still uninformed about what his com- 
panion's strange actions meant and was in a tremor of terror 
as, digging down a couple of feet, they came to the body of 
the fair young woman. It Avas wrapped in an old horse 
blanket, and still undecayed. The two drew it down to the 
river, Avashed oh 1 ' the earth that had adhered to it, and then 
Nelson, unwilling that it should lie coffined entirely nude, 
drew off his own underclothing and placed it on the corpse, 
then drove back up the river. 

Prescott next morning repaired to the place to which he 
had been directed, lie found there the coffin, and opening 
its lid recognized the corpse of his niece. Without commu- 
nicating with any person, he placed it in his own wagon ami 
starting back to Sycamore restored it to the husband, lie 
received it with hysterical delight — laughed and Avept, and 
raved by turns. Never Avas there gathered at any one 
funeral before, so large a concourse of people as met on that 
next Sabbath day, to consign a second time to the grave the 
body which had caused such an excitement in all the country 

" r V- 



(lliragn LilhnrjraphilliH'nXhil 


round. A new grave was duo- close under the husband's 
window, and there the long lost body was at last consigned 
to await the resurrection only of the last great day. 

Undoubtedly many other graves had been robbed before 
this time in this same section of country, but it is believed 
that there were none since. 

The medical school was broken up. Rude, the student, 
died a few days after. Richards, the principal, partially re- 
covered, moved away to Missouri, but never fully recovered 
his health, and died about three years after. 

Indictments were found against Kinyon and Churchill in 
the Courts of Kane County and they were arrested, but re- 
leased on bail. Indictments were also found in one Court of 
DeKalb County, against the body-snatchers. Neither were 
ever brought to trial. Public opinion seemed satisfied that 
the crime had been duly expiated and that nothing was to be 
gained by further prosecution of the matter, on either side. 



I>-»^B> ■ ^m 




DeKalb County in the War of the Great Rebellion 

Decidedly the most interesting, most honorable and most 
eventful portion of the history of the County of DeKalb, is 
that which relates the gallant deeds of her brave sons, their 
sacrifices and sufferings in that tremendous struggle for the 
life of the nation — the war of the Great Rebellion. 

How do the excitements of its earlier settlement, its claim 
wars, its county-seat wrangles, its contests with the banditti, 
its war upon the grave-robbers, its political and social excite- 
ments, all pale and lose their interest when compared with the 
story of the grand heroism displayed by her sons upon an 
hundred battle-fields ; and of the no less devoted patriotism 
which led two thousand of her brave boys to cheerfully endure 
the toils, the sufferings, the labors of the grand marches, the 
terrors of rebel prisons, privation, destitution, death itself, 
that they might help to save their country from destruction, 
and o-ive to the world a re-united nation. In the four vears 
of the great civil war is comprised more of its real history, 
more of true heroism, more adventure, more romance, more 
of gallantry, valor, everything that dignifies and ennobles the 
character of its people, than in all the remaining portion of its 
career. If, then, a larger portion of this work be devoted to 
this portion of the history than to any other, it will not be 
more than its importance demands. 

The political character and predelictions of the great 
majority of the inhabitants of our County impelled them 


to espouse, with more than ordinary fervor, the cause of the 
government in its struggle with the slave-holders' rebellion. 
From the first settlement of the County, it had been the home 
of a strong, active, zealous party of anti-slavery men ; men 
who were avowed abolitionists, who gloried in that name 
when it was a term of reproach ; who not only voted for, but 
labored and expended their money for the freedom of the slave. 
Scattered here and there over the whole county, were numer- 
ous well-known stations on the "under-ground railroad;" 
homes of thrifty, hard-working, God-fearing haters of oppres- 
sion, in which, it was well understood, the panting fugitive 
escaping from Southern Slavery, would be sure of finding 
rest, refreshment, a safe shelter, a warm welcome, and means 
to help him on to other stations on the route to what was then 
his only safe-guard, the flag of England on Canadian soil. 
The homes of the Beveridges and the Hubbards of Somonauk, 
of the Townsends of May field, David West's of Sycamore, and 
E. S. Gregory at Genoa, were well known as homes and places 
of refuge for the fugitive negroes ; and many an interesting 
story of their experience in aiding and secreting these 
oppressed people, are now told with a freedom, that before the 
downfall of American Slavery would have been dangerous. 
Long before the formation of the Republican party, whose 
corner-stone was hostility to slavery extension, the majority 
of the voters of the County were of that class who made 
hatred of slavery the cardinal principle of their political creed. 
It was natural that when the devotees of the slave system 
sought to rend in twain the Union of the States, in order to 
protect their institution, and with fratricidal hand attacked 
the defenders of the flag of their country, these men should 
r ally to its defense with earnest enthusiasm. But their zeal 
for the defence of the country was only more fervent than 
that of their political opponents. Inspired by the noble 
utterances of their great leader, Stephen A. Douglas, whose 
patriotic devotion to his imperiled country burst the bonds of 
party, and shed over the last months of his too short life a 


sublime eternal radiance, the great mass of the Democratic 
party in the country, with some noted exceptions, rallied at 
the first outbreak of the war to the defense of the country, 
gave their support to the government, enlisted for their coun- 
try's defense or encouraged the enlistments, and gave their 
services, with patriotic sincerity to the work of preserving 
the Union. 

The echoes of the first guns that were fired upon Fort 
Sumter had scarcely died away, when in the principal towns 
of DeKalb county hundreds of her sons sprang to arms, began 
drilling and preparing for service, and earnestly demanded the 
privilege of being led to battle against the rebel foe. Their 
earnestness was constantly repressed by the government, which, 
embarrassed by the want of suitable laws to meet such an 
unlooked-for emergency, and apparently failing to appreciate 
the real magnitude of the contest, hesitated and drew back 
from the impending conflict, refused to call out a sufficient 
number of troops, and checked, instead of encouraging, the 
patriotic ardor of the people. 

When, at last, two companies of volunteers from this county 
gained permission to serve in her armies against the 
rebellion, their privilege was at a premium. Some of those 
who had been'accepted, but from various causes found it diffi- 
cult to disentangle themselves from the ties that bound them 
to their homes, sold out their places in the ranks, to 
others whose eagerness could not be repressed. But, as 
the conflict broadened and deepened, as our armies met the 
enemy and failed to conquer their legions, the government 
found use for all the men who were willing; to serve her. The 
calls of the President for troops were as follows : 

April 10th, 1861, 75,000 for three months. 

May 4th, 18G1, 64,748 for five years. 

July, 1861, 500,000 for three years. 

July 18th, 1862, 300,000 for three years. 

August 4th, 1862, 300,000 for nine months. 

June, 1863, 300,000 for three years. 


October 17th, 1863, 300,000 for three years. 

February 18th, 1864, 500,000 for three years. 

July 10th, 1864, 200,000 for three years. 

July 16th, 1864, 500,000, one, two, and three years. 

December 21st, 1864, 300,000 for three years. 

It must ever be a source of pride to the County of DeKalb 
that each successive demand made during the first three years 
of the war, was promptly filled by volunteers. The summer 
of 1862 — how memorable and exciting ! In the July previous, 
a half million of men were called out, and DeKalb County 
promptly met the call. In August, 1862, 600,000 more 
were asked for. It was in the midst of the busy harvest 
season. The County had already been drained of more than 
fifteen hundred of its able-bodied men, and was suffering for 
help to gather its bountiful harvest ; yet without a murmur, 
six hundred of the very best men of the County sprang into 
the ranks of the 105th regiment, and perhaps half as many 
more into other organizations. It was not until July, 1864, 
that a draft was finally required in this County, to fill the 
repeated and exhausting demands of the service. 

What gallant and honorable service these citizen soldiers 
performed for their country, let this too brief and contracted 
record of the campaigns of the various regiments partially 
relate. Not one of the great battles of that long and bloody 
war Avas fought in which the loyal sons of DeKalb did not 
bear a most honorable part. The history of their campaigns 
is a history of the war. DeKalb County boys opened the 
first battle in the seven days fight on the Virginian Peninsula, 
and were the first to attack Lee's rebel host at Gettysburgh. 
Some loaded their guns for the first time while under the fire 
of Fort Donelson. They swept with the great Sherman on 
the grand march to the sea. They were the heroes of the day 
on the first assault upon Vicksburg. They bore a most hon- 
orable part in its final capture. They saved by a gallant 
charge, the defeated army of Banks' on Red River. They 
were first at the capture of Mobile. In the campaigns in 


Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and indeed wherever 
a rebel army was to be found, there were men of DeKalb 
County to meet them in the deadly conflict. 

Volumes could hardly do full justice to the story of their 
exploits. It has been found necessary in this work to condense 
the history of most of them down to the dry record of their 
principal movements. To the One Hundred and Fifth volun- 
teers more space has been given, partly because that regiment 
contained three times as many of DeKalb County men as any 
other regiment, and partly because the history of the move- 
ments of one regiment in that great campaign is substantially 
the history of all others who participated in it, and will serve 
to tell their story. 

To the Eighth Illinois Cavalry has also been given an 
unusually full record because they alone of all our regiments 
participated in the movements of rhe Virginia campaigns and 
their history is the history of the great, long- enduring, oft 
baffled, but finally triumphant Army of the Potomac, and 
with that of the other regiments, really completes the de- 
scription of all of the great campaigns of the war. This 
record gives the history of allof the full Companies formed 
in the County. Hundreds of men however, enlisted in other 
companies and did service no less gallant and praise-worthy. 




In response to the call of President Lincoln, for six hun- 
dred thousand more men, to aid in putting down armed re- 
bellion against the National Government, the One Hundred 
and Fifth Regiment, Illinois Infantry Volunteers was formed, 
embracing ten Companies, of which six were composed of 
volunteers from DeKalb, and four from DuPage Counties 

The men were enlisted in July and August, 1862, and 
went into camp at Dixon, 111., on the 29th day of the latter 
month, where they rendezvoused until the preliminaries in- 
cident to effective organization were (rone throurrh with. All 
the line officers were elected by the unanimous vote of the 
respective Companies, and each of the field and staff officers 
received every vote in the entire regiment. 

The Regiment was mustered into service September 2d, 
1862, with 954 men, Col. Daniel Dustin having been by its 
wisdom and with enthusiasm, elected and welcomed as its com- 
manding officer. The Colonel entered the service in August, 
1861, in the 8th Illinois Cavalry, as Captain of Company L, 
which was raised in DeKalb County. He had been promoted 
Major, and served with his regiment in the campaign on the 


For Lieut-Col. and Major the 105th selected Henry F. 
Vallette. of DuPage County, and Everell F. Dutton, of De 
Kalb, the latter having been 1st Lieutenant of Company F. 
in the 13th Illinois Infantry, volunteers, which Company 
was also recruited in DeKalb County, in April 1861. He 
had been promoted Captain of his Company in August, 1861, 
and was with the 13th in all the severe marches through Mis- 
souri and into Arkansas, under General Curtis. Lieut. -Col. 
Vallete had not before been in the service. Lieut. -Colonel 
Vallete and Major Dutton are in stature something 
over five and six feet, respectively ; the former of light frame, 
the latter large and commanding. Both are active in their 
movements, the Major being particularly noted for those 
qualities characteristic of the dashing soldier. 

The regiment was mustered in by Captain Barri, of the 
regular army, at Dixon, as before indicated. Companies A, 
C, E, G, H, and K, being recruited from DeKalb county, 
and companies B, D, F and I from DuPage. The following 
were the officers mustered at the time of organization : 
Field and Staff. 

Colonel Daniel Dustin. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Henry F. Vailette. 

Major Everell F. Dutton. 

Adjutant William JN T . Phillips. 

Quartermaster Timothy Wells. 

Surgeon Horace S. Potter. 

Assistant Surgeon Alfred Waterman. 

Chaplain Levi P. Crawford. 

Company A. 

Captain Henry D. Brown. 

First Lieutenant George B. Heath. 

Second Lieutenant Robert D. Lord. 

Company B. 

Captain Theodore S. Rogers. 

First Lieutenant Lucius B. Church. 

Second Lieutenant Willard Scott, jr. 


Company C. 

Captain Alexander L. Warner. 

First Lieutenant George W. Field. 

Second Lieutenant Henry B. Mason. 

Company I). 

Captain Amos C. Graves. 

First Lieutenant William H. Jeffres* 

Second Lieutenant Luther L. Peaslee. 

Company E. 

Captain Thomas S. Ferry. 

First Lieutenant Marvin Y. Allen. 

Second Lieutenant Albert C. Overton. 

Company F. 

Captain Seth F. Daniels. 

First Lieutenant Samuel Adams. 

Second Lieutenant , Porter Warner. 

Company Cr. 

Captain John B. Nash . 

First Lieutenant Richard R. Woodruff. 

Second Lieutenant John M. Smith. 

Company II 

Captain Eli L . Hunt. 

First Lieutenant James S. Forsythe. 

Second Lieutenant Charles G. Culver. 

Company I. 

Captain Enos Jones. 

First Lieutenant William 0. Locke. 

Second Lieutenant Augustus H. Fischer. 

Company K. 

Captain 1 Iorace Austin. 

First Lieutenant Nathan S. Greenwood. 

Second Lieutenant Almon F. Parke. 

The men were here inducted into the a. b. c. of the service 
by the officers, according to "tactics," taking the first posi. 


tion of the soldier and going through the first exercises of 
squad drill. 

About the time the boys began to experience the sensations 
peculiar to raw recruits, just entering on a change of life and 
diet, the regiment was ordered to Camp Douglas, Chicago, 
where, from the 8th to the last of September, it was busily 
engaged in securing clothing, camp and garrison equipage. 
While at Camp Douglas the regiment was numerously visited 
by its friends, who came to see how the boys looked " in 
camp," and to exchange a few more words of parting. 

The regiment was presented with a beautiful stand of 
colors, by Hons. T. B. Bryan and II. C. Childs, of DuPage, 
upon whose folds were inscribed, in golden letters, " Strike 
togetJier" — words destined to become actualized in the con- 
duct of the men before the enemy. 

On the 30th of September, 1(862, under orders from the 
Governor of Illinois, the regiment left Chicago for Louisville, 
arriving there October 2d. At Jeffersonville, Indiana, the 
men were armed with the "Austrian rifled musket," an in- 
ferior weapon. Reporting to General Dumont, the regiment 
was attached to a division then under his command, and to a 
brigade under the command of Brigadier-General W. T. 

At this point the trials and hardships of active soldiering 
began, as the boys of the new regiment were immediately 
called upon to execute a forced march to Shelbyville, Ky., 
carrying knapsacks heavily stuffed, four days rations in haver- 
sacks, musket in hand, and sixty rounds of ammunition. 
Leaving Louisville on the day following their arrival at that 
point, the regiment arrived at Shelbyville on the 4th of Oct- 
ober, having marched about thirty-six miles in twenty-four 
hours. For green troops who had never inarched a day or 
an hour before, this was a hard beginning. Although onlv 
the first, it was the last march of some of the men. Left 
Shelbyville on the 8th and entered Frankfort at 4 A. M. on 
the 9th. The movement was made with the entire division. 


The 105th (and the division) remained at Frankfort seven- 
teen days, during which time it was engaged in guard and 
picket duty, with occasional slight skirmishing with the enemy, 
performing drill duty daily, 1 and executing a counter raid 
upon John Morgan and his command, marching to Lawrence- 
burg and returniug to Frankfort, a distance of about twenty- 
eight miles, in about twenty hours. 

Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky, was an interesting 
point to the soldiers who were so fortunate as to rest there. 
It is situated on the east bank of the Kentucky river, sixty 
miles above its entrance into the Ohio. The site of the town 
is a deep valley, surrounded by precipitous hills. The river 
flows in deep limestone banks, the quarries of which yield a 
fine stone, or marble, of which many of the houses are built. 
It contains a State-house, Court-house, and other official 
buildings, with many handsome private dwellings, and a pop- 
ulation of some three or four thousand. In the beautiful 
Cemetery, near the city, are the graves of many of Ken- 
tucky's prominent dead ; many soldiers of the Mexican war, 
and the tomb of Daniel Boone, the old pioneer. 

Here the regiment became thinned out somewhat by dis- 
eases peculiar to camp life. Many had to be left behind 
when the regiment moved on for Bowling Green, which it did, 
together with the division, on the 26tn of October, arriving 
at that point November 4th. The boys still unused to millitary 
duty, and poorly prepared to endure a forced march of so 
great length, were, nevertheless, rushed through on foot — as 
from Louisville to Shelbyville, with heavy loads — a distance 
of 154 miles, in ten days. The weather was warm and the 
roads dusty during the latter part of the march, which added 
greatly to its trials. Think of a column of troops, already 
jaded, with exhausted and chafed bodies, literally enveloped 
in dust, so that one man could not see three ranks ahead of 
him, much less distinguish one comrade from another ! 

The night before they started upon this march a furious 
snow-storm visited Frankfort and neighborhood, making the 


pulling down of tents and the packing of camp equipage in the 
morning, a cold and cheerless task. The troops left Frank- 
fort in three inches of snow, but with confidence in their 
ability to endure any hardships after undergoing the severities 
of the forced march from Louisville to Shelbyville. Leaving 
Frankfort on the 26th, as before mentioned, the command 
moved about twenty miles and camped at Salt River. On the 
27th, passed through a small place called "Dogwalk." On 
the 28th, passed through Johnsonville, and Chaplin Hill, 
camping at Sugar Grove. Passed through Bloomfield and 
Bardstown on the 29th, camping one mile beyond the latter 
place. Reached New Haven on the 30th, and on the 31st 
passed near Hodgkinsville, and the birth-place of Abraham 
Lincoln. November 1st, reached Bacon Creek Station, on 
the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, leaving the sick and 
sore to be sent forward by rail. November 2d, passed 
through Mumfordsville and crossed Green River, campni gat 
Horse Cave. The Cave was numerously visited by the 
soldiers and pronounced a very interesting natural curiosity. 
It lies deep down in the bowels of the earth, with a round 
entrance like the mouth of Jonah's Whale. In its interior is 
a stream — a deep, small, silent vein of pure water, coursing 
beyond the vision of the seers of Horse Cave village. On the 
3d, passed near the famous Mammoth Cave, camping within 
a day's march of Bowling Green. Arrived at Bowling Green 
on the 4th, camping at Lost River, several miles southwest of 
the town. A small stream, losing itself in the broad mouth 
of another of Kentucky's underground passages, was the 
scene of this encampment. 

As already indicated, this was a hard march. The officers 
and men endured it with commendable patience, arriving at 
their destination exhausted and footsore. 

Here the regiment remained one Aveek, drilling daily. On 
the 9th, the division was reviewed by Major-General Rose- 
crance. Riding up to the 105th during the review, the Gen- 
eral, after being saluted, said : " Men of the 105th: When 


you go into battle, fire deliberately and aim low. Remember, 
that if each one of you hits a man you will kill and cripple a 
great many. It is a short lesson, and I hope you will re- 
member it." 

The boys enjoyed the brief rest at this point, and under 
direction of their good Colonel and faithful officers, rapidly 
improved in the school of the soldier. 

Here we had an opportunity of entering and exploring 
Lost River Cave. One day a party, equipped with candles 
and matches, penetrated far into the interior, crawling 
through circular openings to its series of chambers, or tracing 
the meandering passage which holds in everlasting embrace 
the little river that is "Lost." The chambers near the 
entrance to the Cave are oblong, with arched ceilings, and 
barely admitiing a man in upright posture. They are empty 
and unornamented. But the passage in which the stream 
flows is broad, and high enough to admit the tallest man, the 
ceiling in dome-like form, rising in many places so high as to 
render its outlines scarcely visible withont the aid of strong 
lights. For two hundred yards the party picked their way, 
now and then climbing over rocky places, and on bare ground 
treading the narrow shore. The sound of voices vibrated 
with thrilling effect in the deep recesses of the dark cavern. 

The pleasant encampment at Lost River ended on the 
mornino; of November 11th, the division having been ordered 
to Scottsville, the county seat of Allen county, a small town 
of about two hundred inhabitants. The regiment arrived on 
the evening of the 12th, and camped near the town. Until 
the 25th, the regiment remained at this point, engaged in 
drill and guard duty. Here the troops were required to turn 
out at ") o'clock in the morning and stand at arms until sun- 
rise. This was a precautionary practice. 

The boys by this time spent nearly all the money they had 
received on entering the service, and were compelled to use 
postage-stamps as currency. In trading with the most igno- 
rant of the natives about Scottsville, they passed old stamps 


and labels for money. For instance, a "one cent" Pain 
killer label, from a bottle of Perry Davis' or anybody else's 
specific, would pass quite readily for a "• one dollar." Thus 
many secured the luxuries of the country thereabouts, such 
as pies, cakes, eggs, or anything else eatable. 

While here, the 105th, together with a section of a battery, 
executed a sort of mock battle, the former manoeuvering and 
char ging before the latter while firing blank cartridges. The 
battle was spirited, and admirably conducted by Colonel Dus- 
tin and the commanding officers of the battery. 

The first changes among commissioned officers occurred 
November and December, 18(32, as follows : 

Captain Horace Austin, Company K, of DeKalb, resigned 
November 2(5 th, First Lieutenant Nithan S. Greenwood, of 
Clinton, succeeding as Captain. 

Adjutant William N. Phillips, of Wayne, DuPage, resigned 
December 2, Sergeant-Major David D. Chandler, of DeKalb, 
succeeding as Adjutant. 

Chaplain Levi P. Crawford, of Sandwich, DeKalb, resigned 
December 24, Daniel Chapman succeeding as Chaplain. 

Second Lieutenant Robert D. Lord, of Geneva, Company 
A, resigned December 17, Sergeant W r illiam R. Thomas, of 
Sycamore, succeeding as Second Lieutenant. 

First Lieutenant Richard It. Woodruff, Company G, of 
Sycamore, resigned December 21, Second Lieutenant John 
M. Smith, of Burlington, Kane county, succeeding as First 

Captain Eli L. Hunt, Company K, of Sandwich, resigned 
December 17, First Lieutenant James S. Forsythe, of Som- 
onauk, succeeding as Captain. 

Captain Enos Jones, Company I, of Milton, DuPage, re- 
signed December 17, First Lieutenant William 0. Lock, of 
Addison, succeeding as Captain. 

In the above instances, promotions were made according to 
rank in the filling of the vacancies. 

On the 25th moved to Gallatin, Tennessee, arriving on the 


26th. Gallatin is a pleasant place, of about two thousand 

inhabitants, the county seat of Sumner County, on the Louis- 
ville and Nashville Railroad, distant from Nashville twenty- 
five miles north. 

The brigade to which the regiment was attached embraced 
the following regiments: 70th Indiana, 105th, 102d, 120th 
Illinois and 70th Ohio. About the 10th of December, the 
brigade was ordered into winter quarters at Gallatin, except 
the 105th, which on the 11th moved to South Tunnel, six 
miles north of Gallatin, relieving an entire brigade of Ohio 
troops, under command of General Steadman. Here the 
regiment remained until the 1st of February, 1803, except 
Company A, Captain Brown, which was stationed during the 
winter at a Railway bridge half-way between the tunnel and 
Gallatin, during which time constant scouting duty was per- 
formed. Much sickness prevailed, and many deaths occurred. 
The camp was located on high, but soft ground, near the 
mouth of the tunnel — really on the side of a mountain, whose 
lofty summit overlooked the camp and railway station to the 
north. This position was the scene of much suffering, and 
varied and wearisome duties. The regimental Surgeon II. 
S. Potter, and Assistant Surgeon George W. Boggs, though 
among the best medical officers of the department, could 
hardly stem the tide of disease, which seemed to sweep 
through the camp at times with the fatality of an epedemic. 
The chief Surgeon himself narrowly escaped death by disease. 

First Assistant Surgeon Alfred Waterman had been as- 
signed to the small-pox hospital, at Bowling Green, immedi- 
ately after the arrival of the regiment at that point. This 
was the scene of his own severe illness, as well as important 
service. Remaimed there until about the 18th of February, 
I860, when he returned to the regiment, then at Gallatin. 
He escaped the horrors of South Tunnel, but not the horrors 
of Bowling Green, which seemed to be all hospital and noth- 
ing else. The regiment lost a few men there. 

Right here let us remark concerning the chief Surgeon of 


the 105th, and the Assistant Surgeons, that in the exigencies 
of every situation they were found to be men of sterling in- 
tegrity and large capacity. Surgeon Potter was a gentleman 
of fine sensibilities, and on all occasions manifested a willing- 
ness to go to the end of his powers of endurance in order that 
nothing it was possible for him to do might be left undone. 

First Assistant Surgeon Waterman, an officer of stronger 
physical powers and great activity, afterward became chief 
Surgeon, filling up the measure of his duties in whatever 
sphere he was called to act. 

Second Assistant Surgeon — afterward First Assistant — 
George W. Boggs, a young officer of decided skill, filled his 
position in the most creditable manner. 

Grim death bore away from that mountain height at South 
Tunnel many a gallant soldier, and some friends visiting the 
regiment from homes in the North, arrived after their boys 
had been buried. Henry S. Kingsley, an honorable and 
talented young member of Company F, Captain Daniels' 
Company, died of typhoid fever. His father, Rev. Mr. 
Kingsley, hearing of his sickness, came all the way from 
Cook County, 111., to Gallatin, Tcnn., only to learn that his 
boy was dead and buried some hours before his arrival. 

In the mind of every soldier who wintered at South Tun- 
nel the recollection of its experience will stand out in gloomy 

The regiment was ordered back to Gallatin, February 1st, 
1863, where it remained with the brigade until the last of 
May. On the 14th day of March, Companies D, F, II and 
G were detailed as provost guard, and performed that duty 
creditably, making friends of the citizens of Gallatin by their 
steady habits and good behavior. 

Up to this period — May 1863 — the regiment had lost 205 
men, died and discharged on account of disability. But for 
the exposure and the severe marches it had undergone, the 
larger portion of those who died and those discharged, would 


have been numbered among the effective force of the organi- 

During the six months stop at Gallatin and the Tunnel, 
ending the 1st of Juno, 1868, the regiment performed a great 
amount of hard labor, constructing earthworks, scouting, 
clearing the country of bushwhackers, gathering forage, 
horses, etc., and capturing rebels. Major Dutton had charge 
of all the scouts — fifty from each regiment of the post — riding 
night and day for weeks through the country, at one time 
(May 19), making quite a capture of prisoners on the south 
side of the Cumberland river, attended with a skirmish, dur- 
ing which a Lieutenant Record, of the 70th Indiana, was 
wounded. At another time the Major captured, and brought 
in, seventy-eight bales of cotton, from across the river, fifty 
horses and mules, and several rebel's. 

The Gallatin printing office was placed in charge of Private 
Ogdon Whitlock of Company F, 105th, by Major Scarritt, 
Provost Marshal under General Paine, Post Commander. 
Private Whitlock acted as Post printer, turning out a large 
amount of Government printing in the shape of job work, 
and together with Sergeant J. E. Harroun, of the 102d Illi- 
nois, as senior editor, and Privates Bell and Patrick, of the 
102d, and Company A, 105th, respectively, published a well- 
filled and Avell-edited six-column weekly paper called the 
Courier, which enjoyed a circulation of 1200, having many 
northern exchanges, and receiving complimentary notices 
from such papers as the Indianapolis Daily Journal, Gazette, 
Weekly Chicago Covenant, Sycamore Republican, Whcaton 
Illinoian, Nashville, Tenn., Daily Union, Elgin, 111., Gazette, 
Salem, O., Republican, Alcdo, 111., Record, and many other 
prints ; also a sarcastic notice from the Louisville Journal. 

We have not yet mentioned the fact of the dissolution of 
Gen. Dumont's division to which the regiment was assigned 
at Louisville. On the 7th day of December 1862, the 39th 
brigade, which was in the division, and commanded by Colonel 
Moore, of the 104th Illinois volunteers, was captured at 


Hartsville, Tenn. This event seemed to disgrace, or at least, 
was disastrous to the division, as immediately thereafter, one 
brigade — the 40th — was assigned to Gen. Reynolds, and 
Ward's brigade assigned to Gen. E. A. Paine, commander of 
Post at Gallatin. 

Lieut. -Colonel Vallette filled the position of Provost Marshal 
for some time at Gallatin, and Captain A. C. Graves, of Co. 
D, had charge of Provost guard. 

Many of the officers and men received leave of absence 
from that point, visiting their homes and returning to the 
regiment, bearing letters and packages to those who remained 
with the command. 

Second Lieutenant Win. R. Thomas, promoted from 1st 
Scrgant, Company A, was assigned to the position of A. A. 
G., on stan of General W. T. Ward, commanding the brigade, 
then called the 8th, a position which he filled with credit to 
himself, reflecting honor on the 105th. He was afterward 
confirmed as a staff officer by authority of the President of 
the United States, which position he retained during the re- 
mainder of his term of service. 

First Lieutenant L. B. Church, promoted from Second Lieu- 
tenant Company B — afterwards promoted to Captain — was 
detailed on the staff of General Ward as A. D. C, and subse- 
quently on the staff of General Paine, as A. J). G, which posi- 
tion he assumed to the entire satisfaction of the commanding 
officers in particular and the command in general. Lieutenant 
Church was an officer and gentleman of more than usual 
popularity, on account of his uniform conviviality and his 
wonderful talent for singing. He has charmed the senses of 
thousands in and out of the army by his magic voice. To 
the 105th he was a tower of strength ; as a natural born 
singer, he possessed in ample measure the power to soothe 
and thrill with concordant sounds the spirits of its every 
member. Stand him on a barrel in the streets of Gallatin 
or in any of the camps, and he would bring every regiment 
and every detachment within the radius of a mile inside the 


circle of his song vibrations. " The Sword of Bunker Hill," 
" Red, White and Blue," " Old Shady," and other popular 
airs were rendered with great energy and effect. 

The 105th was distinguished for its musical characters — 
perhaps more than any other regiment in the whole Depart- 
ment. Colonel Dustin, Lieutenant Colonel Vallette, Major 
Dutton, Assistant Surgeon Waterman, and Lieutenant Heath, 
of Company A, were singers, also. They participated in the 
exercises of a grand concert given at Gallatin by a combina- 
tion of singers and musicians of the 8th Brigade, on the 
evening of 22d April, 1863. The entertainment was a splen- 
did affair, and had to be repeated the second evening follow- 
ing. The Gallatin Courier in making an extended notice of 
the concert of the 22d, said : " The entertainment was a 
highly successful one in all respects, and will be remembered 
as one of the brightest incidents in the army, long after the 
scenes through which we are passing have flown." Among 
the line officers and enlisted men there were also many singers, 
and good musicians. 

The Regimental Band, with Drum-Major Morrel Fuller 
and Fife-Major Walter Van Velzer at its head, became justly 
noted in the army for clever manipulations on the drum and 
fife. Being expert performers on the violin, also, these gen- 
tlemen added its charms to the list of "regimental blessings." 
By means of industrious application during their term of 
service, they advanced to a stage of development which gave 
them decided character as individuals and made the regiment 
proud of them as its principal musicians. The entire com- 
pany of musicians attained to a high degree of efficiency, the 
Band as a whole being excelled by none, and above the aver- 
age in all respects of most regimental bands in the army. 

Private Luther L. Hiatt, Company F, the prescription 
clerk in regimental hospital, a most exemplary young soldier, 
and a veritable musician, frequently furnished a guitar accom- 
paniment to the violins and fifes, the whole making up an ex- 
cellent combination, fully deserving the title of the "105th 
Illinois String Band." 


The old 105th owes much of its character and popularity, 
as a whole, to the rare musical powers of those above indi- 

Under the able management of Colonel Dustin, the regi- 
ment rapidly attained to a degree of efficiency in drill and 
discipline. In the manual of arms the 105th already began 
to excel, and in the drill grounds the men were readily wield- 
ed in the school of battalion. The Colonel early taught the 
rules of health in his advisory speeches to the regiment, and 
fully set forth the duty and great advantages of education in 
all things pertaining to the service. Few regiments perhaps 
were organized with such entire unanimity of feeling as exis- 
ted in the 105th, and that continued to prevail from this time 
to the end of the Avar. 

About the time the regiment returned to Gallatin from the 
Tunnel, Surgeon Potter was detailed to act as Brigade Sur- 
geon, 1st Assistant Surgeon Waterman shortly afterward 
taking his place in the regiment as Acting Chief Surgeon. 

While at Gallatin and the Tunnel the following additional 
changes occurred among commissioned officers. 

Captain Alexander L. Warner, Company C, of Sycamore, 
resigned February 17th, 1863 ; First Lieutenant George W. 
Field, Sycamore, succeeding as captain. Captain Field after- 
ward resigned July 11th, 1803 ; First Lieutenant Charles G. 
Culver, of Company II, being promoted to the captaincy of 
company C. Captain Thomas S. Terry, Company E, of 
Shabbona, resigned March 10th ; First Lieutenant Marvin 
V. Allen, Shabbona, succeeding as captain. Second Lieut. 
Porter Warner, Company F, York, DuPage, resigned April 
17th ; First Sergeant Wm. M. Tirtlot succeeding as Second 

On the 9th of April 1803, while acting as Provost guard, 
Private Isaac Elsie, Company C, Captain A. C. Graves, was 
accidentally shot dead by a pistol in the hands of a comrade. 
This was one of the saddest occurrences that happened to the 
Provost guards at Gallatin. 


The regiment was paid off about the middle of April, at 
which time the bojs Avere ready to fully appreciate those fine 
greenbacks, having not so favorable an opportunity of passing 
old pain-killer labels and postage stamps as at Scottsville. 

Captain J. S. Forsythe, Company II, added a Mr. Samuel 
Taylor, citizen of Sumner county, Tenn., to his gallant fam- 
ily of boys, being probably the only regular enlistment in 
the regiment "from a quarter least expected," during its 
campaigning in the enemy's country. 

Colored inhabitants in the country about Gallatin — then 
called " contrabands" by the soldiers, came in daily to the 
Post, many of whom were employed in the hospitals, and on 
the streets and alleys, cleansing the town. Colonel B. J. 
Sweet, commanding at Fort Thomas, near the railway depot, 
employed a number at the fort ; and when too many accumu- 
lated they were shipped to the front and set to work there. 

There were periods of gloom among the people generally 
while the brigade was lying at Gallatin, the military situa- 
tion East and West being unsatisfactory, and reported disaf- 
fection in the North gave rise to the painful reflection that a 
"fire in the rear" was about to be threatened. But to fight- 
ing men the prospect had no terrors, as they were anxious to 
finish disloyalty in front or rear, never counting the cost. It 
was this spirit, gaining ascendency among the troops of the 
West, which finally manifested itself in the bold movement 
that resulted, together with the master strokes in the East, in 
the complete triumph of the national arms. Notwithstanding 
the dark times, more or less intensified since the starting out 
of the 10,3th in 1862, the spirit of the troops, although de- 
pressed, never despaired, and the first of May, 1868, brought 
new victories East and West, when depression gave way to 
revivifying hope. This was the beginning of the end. 

Among the happiest of mortals were the poor, humble 
" contrabands." Apparently oblivious to effects which made 
the heart of the soldier sad, they enjoyed their sports, their 
dances, their out-door gambols. They rejoiced in perpetual 


youth ; neither looking forward nor backward, but living in 
the hour — ready for any fate. Verily, the very eloquence 
of life abode in the bosom of the blacks. 

The garrison at Gallatin was subject to alarms from John 
Morgan's raiders, occasionally, when the army wagons would 
be quickly interlocked in the streets, forming a barricade. 
But John never came near enough to see these formidable 
obstructions. An offended Tennessee poetess, and a hater of 
the Provost Marshal — Major Scarritt, really a wonderfully 
austere man — made the following allusion to these alarms, in 
a parody on "Maryland, my Maryland : " 

'• The Yankees they get scared at night, 
Blockade the streets with all their mi";ht ; 

Would'st kuow the cause — old S t's tight. 

Gallatin ! My Gallatin.'' 

On the 1st of June, 1863, the regiment and brigade were 
transferred from Gallatin to Lavergne, by railroad, a point 
about twenty miles south-east of Nashville, on the Nashville 
and Chattanooga Railroad. Here the regiment was engaged 
in guarding and drilling. Early one dark morning the camp 
was alarmed, and the 105th sprang to their guns at the call 
of Colonel Dustin, Avhose voice sounded out clearly through 
the darkness, "One hundred and fifth ! fall in ! quick ■!" But 
the alarm proved false, and the troops were ordered to their 

Some tedious drill exercises Avere gone through with here 
daily, closing in the evening with dress parade. 

The regiment, after stopping at Lavergne one month, was 
ordered to Murfreesboro, but returned to Lavergne the last 
of July, and from thence to the city of Nashville, on the 19tli 
day of August, relieving a brigade of troops under command 
of General Morgan. Here the 105th was placed in charge 
of Fort Negley, being quartered inside the works. The regi- 
ment was on constant duty here until its final departure from 
Nashville, guarding the city and Fort Negley, and being under 
a system of daily drill. 



105 r .H I LL.VOL 

■I"-.,.,.!,,,,,,.,,,,,,,, ,„n\, ,;,„.,,,, 


Destined to remain at Nashville about six months (arriving 
there, as above stated, August 19th, 1863, and remaining 
until February 24th, 18G4), the regiment had time to perfect 
itself in drill, and make many acquaintances in the city. It 
was its good fortune to exchange the inferior Austrian 
musket, with which it had been armed, for the Springfield 
r iflcd musket, a nicer and more serviceable weapon. 

The brigade was attached to the Eleventh Army Corps, 
Major-General 0. 0. Howard, commanding, while at Nash- 

Many officers and men were detailed from the regiment for 
special duty. Major Dutton was detailed by order from 
Washington, on the Board to examine applicants for positions 
as officers in colored regiments, remaining on that Board 
from October or November, 1863, until the opening of the 
Atlanta campaign, May, 1864. As an evidence that the 105th 
Avas well drilled, some thirty-three of its members passed a 
satisfactory examination, and most of them were commissioned 
and did good service as officers in colored regiments. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Vallettc was detailed on court-martail 
for some time ; also Captain A. C. Graves, Co. D, and Captain 
John B. Nash, Co. G. Captain S. F. Daniels had previously 
been detailed as Acting Commissary of Subsistence at brigade 
eadquarters. Acting Surgeon A. Waterman was detailed in 
a small-pox hospital. 

Many enlisted men were detailed as clerks at the different 
headquarters in the department, filling important places. 

The following changes occurred among commissioned offi- 
cers : First Lieutenant Henry B. Mason, of Sycamore, Co. C, 
resigned, September 6th, 1863, Second Lieutenant John W. 
Burst, of Franklin, succeeding as First Lieutenant. Second 
Lieutenant Hiram S. Harrington, of Franklin, Co. G, resigned 
August 2nd, 1863, while the regiment was stationed at La- 
vergne, and died soon after his return home, Sergeant James 
S. Hasburgh being brcvetted Second Lieutenant; June 7th, 



While at Nashville the regiment was numerously visited by 
its friends from the north, several of the officers' wives, and 
the wives of some of the enlisted men, being among the guests 
of the regiment. While visiting at this point in company with 
her mother, a little daughter of Chief Surgeon (Acting Brigade 
Surgeon) H. S. Potter, died. Colonel Dustin and staff, the 
line officers and many soldiers of the 105th, together with a 
regular escort, attended the funeral, accompanying the remains 
to cemetery and depositing them in a vault. She was a child 
of some twelve summers, of almost angelic brightness, the 
pride of a father's and mother's heart. Said she, shortly 
before the moment of dissolution : "If I die will I see any- 
body :" to which question the hearts of those around her 
intuitively answered, "yes." The attendant circumstances; 
the time, place, manner of services, interment ; the character 
of the mourners and sympathizers, — all together made the 
occasion one of peculiar interest, and long to be remembered 
for its intensified sadness. How much is wrapped up in the 
human heart may be estimated by those who participated in 
the solemnities of that occasion, and through their sympathetic 
relations with the near bereaved were made to feel the uses of 
adversity. Perhaps the recollection of similar bereavements, 
more directly concerning themselves, gave a finer point to the 
pains of the heart. 

Among the sober experiences in the military school at 
Nashville was that of brigade drill. The evolutions of a brig- 
ade arc similar in detail to those of a battalion, a much larger 
plat of ground being required in the execution of the move- 
ments of the former. In these movements General Ward's 
brigade presented a scene of considerable activity and interest, 
on the flats in the south-eastern suburbs of the city. It was 
a pleasure, oftentimes, for the regiments to drill together ; to 
receive instruction with each other from the same teacher, and 
perfect themselves by united practice. Never were men more 
agreeably associated in any cause. 

General Ward to us presented the appearance of a rather 


short and chubby Kentuckian of fifty years, quite unprepos- 
sessing, yet it appears not without some qualifications that 
made him popular and respected throughout his command. 
As a speaker he made up for the lack in looks by his singular 
suavity and eloquence ; and it is said he displayed fine sensi- 
bilities in the care for his command. Many of the boys of 
the brigade declared that the General was an old granny ; but 
he was generally called "Old Pap Ward," or "Pappy Ward." 
To many he was a grim-looking old General. 

At a general meeting in the capitol at Nashville, largely 
attended by citizens and soldiers, on the night of the 8th of 
January, in honor of the battle of New Orleans, Governor 
Andrew Johnson, Colonel Dustin and others, made appro- 
priate speeches. The gentlemen named were the principal 
speakers ; their eloquent consideration of the gallant repulse 
of the British by the Americans under General Jackson, 
supplemented by patriotic and touching allusions to the crisis 
of the hour, stirring up the hearts of the people to a sense of 
the importance of preserving our national life. Expressive 
resolutions were adopted. 

A distressing occurrence on the night of the 14th February, 
sent a thrill of excitement through the camp on the following 
morning as it awoke to a knowledge of the shocking details. 
Sergeant Taylor of Company E, Captain M. V. Allen, com- 
mander, had been found in the railroad cut, dead, appear- 
ances indicating that he was the victim of a most foul murder. 

On the 23d of February, 1864, orders were received at 
regimental headquarters to be ready to march the following 
morning. So, at four o'clock the regiment arose at the sound 
of drums and fifes, took a last breakfast at its pleasant old 
camp at Fort Negley, bid farewell to Nashville at eight o'clock, 
and with General Ward at the head of the brigade and Col. 
Dustin at the head of the regiment, the march for Wauhatchie 
Valley was commenced, the column moving out of town on 
the Murfreesboro pike. The following is a brief diary ac- 
count of the march : 


February 24th. — Moved about ten miles, the weather being 
pleasant, marching agreeable. Turned into camp about three 
o'clock, afternoon. Boys had lively time catching rabbits. 
The numerous camp fires of the brigade made a cheering 
evening sight. 

25th. Started at early dawn. Arrived at Stewart's Creek 
where part of the 102d regiment, of the brigade, was station- 
ed. Camped here at one o'clock, marching about ten miles. 

26th. Arrived at Murfrecsboro at twelve o'clock — camped. 

27th. Moved about thirteen miles, camping at one o'clock 
afternoon. After the tents were pitched, Private 0. Whit- 
lock, Company F, while resting before the fire at regimental 
head quarters, by chance espied a sack of coined silver, on 
the surface of the ground immediately between his feet. It 
had been partially worn away from long exposure to the ele- 
ments, leaving the treasure bared to attract the passerby. 
The lot embraced twenty-five dollars American money, indu- 
ing one spurious half-dollar. It was distributed among the 
officers and men of the regiment. 

28th. Moved about seventeen miles, passing through Shel- 
byville at noon, and camping five miles beyond at half-past 
two o'clock. The people of Shelbyville seemed glad to see 
the " Yankees." 

29th. Moved about fourteen miles, through alternate rain 
showers, turning into camp near Tullahoma at three o'clock. 
This day's march was very severe on account of rain mud 
and cold. In the evening the rains turned into the consis- 
tency of sleet, making it very difficult to start fires, the 
country being bare of fences, the soldier's favorite fuel. 
Great logs had to be cut, and tree tops used for kindling, 
and some "comparative freezing" was endured before the 
camp was made comfortable. The men slept hard, or hardly 
slept, this night. 

March 1st. Weather wet and cold — march not continued. 
A portion of the division train stuck in the mud during the 
storm — considerable suffering — some of the boys sick. 


2d. The march continued at 8 o'clock. Weather clear, 
roads muddy. Camped near Elk river bridge, after proceed- 
ing about nine miles. 

3d. Moved at seven o'clock — weather pleasant — roads more 
passable. Passed through Dcchard, on the N. & C. R. R., 
turning into camp at foot of Racoon mountains, beyond 
Cowan, at two o'clock, afternoon. Distance marched ten 

4th. Ascended the mountains, and after proceeding several 
miles on the wrong road, the column was turned and marched 
down a deep ravine to the right one. Reached Tautalou 
three o'clock, afternoon, a point on the railroad ninety-four 
miles from Nashville. Heavy rain fell in the night. 

5th. Owing to the failure of the teams to reach camp last 
night, consequent on the blunder of starting on the wrong 
road yesterday, the march was not continued until noon. 
Distance made, four miles. 

6th Moved at early dawn. Pleasant weather, good roads. 
Distance about twelve miles. Arrived near Stevenson, Ala., 
at two o'clock. Troops received their mail matter. 

7th. Passed through Stevenson, proceeded to a point within 
sight of Bridgeport, Ala., and camped. Distance twelve 
miles, turning in at twelve o'clock. 

8th. Remained in camp. 

9th. Resumed the march at day-light, passing through 
Bridgeport and across Tennessee river, reaching Shell Mound, 
at noon. Took dinner near the mouth of Nick O'Jack Cave, 
one of the outcropping curiosities of nature. The boys briefly 
explored the interior of the cave entrance. It was found to 
exceed Lost River Cave at Bowling Green in the spaciousness 
and grandeur of its passages. During the Avar the Lafayette 
Courier gave the following account of the rather thrilling 
experience of two Indiana soldiers in this cave : 

" While General Joe Reynolds' division was encamped 
near Nick O'Jack Cave — about ten miles from Bridgeport, on 
the Tennessee river — two of the boys of the 72d Indiana 


regiment who entered the cave on a " reconnoitering expedi- 
tion," lost their way in the mazes of the cavern and were 
unable to get out. They remained in the cavern two days 
and nights, and were finally rescued from a horrible death by 
means of a brass band playing through the long ventilated 
chambers. The lost men hearing the music, were enabled to 
find their way with some difficulty to their companions. Dur- 
ing their wanderings they had stumbled upon the bodies of 
two men, who were afterwards searched for and brought forth 
from what had been a living tomb. They proved to be two 
rebel soldiers in uniform, one wearing that of a lieutenant, 
the other in a private's dress. They appeared to have been 
dead some time, yet their bodies were in a most complete 
state of preservation." 

10th. Continued this march at nine o'clock. Weather 
warm after a night of rain. -Roads very rough and hilly, 
the marching rapid and exhausting. Passed Whiteside Sta- 
tion and Sand Mountain. Distance about sixteen miles, pass- 
ing through romantic country, arriving in Wauhatchie Valley 
and at the end of the tedious march. Major-General 0. 0. 
Howard came out and met the brigade. 

The next day, (March 11th,) the regiment was assigned a 
position on a hill-slope in Lookout Valley, near Wauhatchie 
Station, there to rest and make ready for a grand movement 
against the Confederate ai my under General Joe Johnston. 

The march from Nashville to Lookout Valley was accom- 
plished in sixteen days, inclusive of two whole days on which 
no progress was made. 

The grounds of the 105th at that point was laid out with 
nice precision, and the camp tastefully ornamented with ever- 
green boughs throughout. The individual members of the 
regiment visited the lofty heights of Lookout Mountain, from 
the highest point of which the territory of seven States can 
be seen. The eye rests upon a landscape to the north em- 
bracing the Cumberland Mountain range, stretching from the 
left of the Valley to the northeast, until its outlines blend 


with the color of the far horizon ; the waters of the Tennessee 
next from the foot of Lookout, closely hugging the great 
range, winding along for many miles, is finally lost among 
its spurs ; then further cast is presented an expanse of diver- 
sified scenery, including Chattanooga city, fields, hills, valleys, 
and woods, the smoke of distant towns rising above the coun- 
try at various points. On the whole the view is one of inde- 
scribable grandeur. 

The brigade — now called the first — had been transferred 
to the 11th A. C, under General Howard, as before stated, 
and was reviewed in the valley by General's Howard and 
Hooker on the 19th of March. 

On the 22d of March a rare effect in the shape of a snow 
storm, was produced by nature's untiring forces. Commenc- 
injz in the night the fall of snow continued until noon of the 
following day, covering the ground to the depth of one foot. 
For the time and place this was something extraordinary. 
Sometimes the weather was quite cold, at others disagreeable. 

Adjutant David D. Chandler, one of the most energetic 
and best looking in the Eleventh Corps, having been on duty 
constantly, here received the favor of a detail for the purpose 
of repairing to the north to secure instruments for the Brigade 
Band. He performed the duty, not failing to return to the 
regiment in time to enter on the Atlanta campaign. In every 
battle and under the harrassing daily skirmish fire of the 
opposing forces, during that campaign, this officer proved 
himself to be one of the best to endure and to dare. Second 
Lieutenant A. II. Fisher, of Company I, Captain J. 0. Locke, 
filled the Adjutant's office until the return of the Adjutant, 
on the first of May. 

One of the thrilling incidents connected with the camp in 
the valley, was that of a large forest tree blowing down dur- 
ing the prevalence of high winds in the evening of March 
28th. The tree fell across several of the tents of Companies 
D and I, crushing them to the ground. Beyond the smash- 
ing of a few simple articles of furniture, no further damage 


was done, as fortunately, for the moment, the tents were un- 

While in the valley drill duty, inspection and reviewing 
Avas the order of the day. On the loth of April the regi- 
ment was visited by Major-General Joe Hooker, and during 
the night Colonel Dustin and the regiment were serenaded by 
the 79th Ohio regimental band. Major-General George II. 
Thomas reviewed the brigade the following day. 

About the middle of April the military designation was 
changed, and from that time until the close of the war the 
command was known as the Fisrt Brigade, Third Division, 
20th Army Corps, then under General Hooker. On the 18th 
of April Major-General George H. Thomas, commander 
Army of the Cumberland, embracing Hooker's corps, honor- 
ed the camp of the 105th with his presence. The regiment 
participated for the first time in division drill on the 21st. 

On the 22d the band of the 33d Massachusetts regiment 
of the division, very friendly to the 105th, paid the camp a 
visit and treated it to some excellent music. The 105th 
officers visited the 33d on the 26th of April. 

Among the officers sick or disabled at this point were 
Colonel Dustin, Acting Brigade Surgeon Potter, Captain T. 
S. Rogers, Company B, and Captain S. F. Daniels, Company 
F, the latter having accidently broken his leg below the knee, 
while engaged in a game of ball. The Captain, although 
anxious to enter with his company on the approaching cam- 
paign, was prevented from doing so in consequence of the 
severity of his wound. He was sent to Camp Dennison at 
Columbus, Ohio, where, as soon as his condition would allow, 
he was detailed for duty as Post Commissary, Ave believe, 
remaining at Columbus during the balance of his term of 

While in camp at Wauhatchie, or soon after, the folloAving 
additional changes occurred among commissioned officers : 

First Lieutenant William H. Jeffers, Company D, DoAvner's 
Grove, resigned May 5th, 1864, Second Lieutant Luther L. 


Peaslce, Naperville, succeeding as first lieutenant. Lieutenant 
Jeffers resigned in order to take a position as Major in a 
colored regiment. 

Second Lieutenant John II. Swift, Company D, resigned 
March 10th, Sergeant Jacob Ostrander, of Paw Paw, being 
breveted as Second Lieutenant, June 7th, 18(35. 

First Lieutenant Samuel Adams, Company F, Wayne, l)u 
Page, resigned April 13th, Second Lieutenant William M. 
Tirtlot, Milton, succeeding as first lieutantant. 

Captain John B. Nash, Company G, Franklin, resigned 
July 17th, 1864. First Lieutenant John M. Smith, Burling- 
ton, was promoted captain but not mustered. 

On the 25th of April the Colonel received orders to prepare 
for active service in the field. 

The regiment and brigade again participated in division 
drill, near General Hooker's headquarters, April 28th, going 
through the motions as a battle, firing blank cartridges. 

Received marching orders on the 1st, and on the 2d of 
May, 1864, the march for the immediate front commenced. 
Here was the opening of one of the boldest and most remark- 
able campaigns ever engaged in by any army, and whose 
end resulted in the complete, great, glorious triumph of the 
national arms. 

Some of the Confederates are reported as afterwards de- 
claring that " Old Sherman ascended Point Lookout and gave 
the command, attention — creation ! by kingdoms right wheel 
— march!" And then it was reported that after General 
Johnston had followed his retreating policy, during the cam- 
paign, the Confederates declared " that their army was com- 
manded by ' Old Billy Sherman,' that they invariably moved 
when Sherman gave the command, and Johnston only super- 
intended the details of the movement. 

As indicated above, the regiment and brigade broke camp 

and commenced the march at six o'clock in the morning, 

moving around Point Lookout, passing Chattanooga, through 

Rossville, over the Chickamauga battle-ground, camping near 



Lee's and Gordon's Mills — distant from the camp at Wau- 
hatchie about 10 miles. 

On the 3d of May the entire regiment was detailed for 
picket duty, the command remaining at this point until the 
following morning, when the march was resumed; proceeding 
about twelve miles, camped near Ringgold, Ga., within a few 
miles of rebel pickets. Remained in camp on the 5th. On 
the 6th marched a number of miles, camping near where the 
rebels captured and murdered a number of national pickets 
belonging to the 92d Illinois regiment. 

On the 7th, marched rapidly and a considerable distance. 
Passed through Nick O'Jack Gape, driving the enemy's 
pickets. Camped in the woods in line of battle, southeast 
of Taylor's Ridge, a precipitous range of hills. Remained 
in camp on the 8th. Considerable skirmishing in front, at 
Rocky Face or Buzzard's Roost. Brigade still quiet on the 
9th, ready for battle. The roar of cannon and rattle of 
musketry heard, and the wounded of General Geary's divi- 
sion being brought to the rear. Advanced four miles on the 
10th, camping at cross-roads. Here visited by a hard rain. 

On the 11th the corps, or the greater portion of it, arrived 
at Snake Creek Gap, halted and built a double road several 
miles long, in about as many hours, the regiment assisting in 
this work. While this was being done several members of 
the 10th made a detour upon the top of the high ridge 
which shut in the command on the right as it passed into the 
long, deep gap. The sight from so lofty a point, of the 
country, Avas only rivalled by a similar one which they had 
witnessed at Point Lookout. On the 13th and 14th of May 
the army moved forward slowly, skirmishing heavily and 
fighting considerable on the latter date, the enemy making a 
stand in and around Resaca. On the 15th the first brigade, 
supported by the balance of the division, made a fierce and 
determined charge upon a peculiarly strong position of the 
enemy, near Resaca, capturing four pieces of artillery with 
caissons complete. The pieces were marked, "Atlanta and 
Augusta Arsenal," and weighed about 1200 pounds each. 


The battle was especially terrific, the rebels having a cross- 
fire upon our force of grape, canister and musketry. Captain 
T. S. Rogers, with Co. B, were deployed as skirmishers, cov- 
ering the front of the brigade. The battle commenced about 
midday and lasted till late in the afternoon. The regiment 
entered this fight on the "double-quick," with fixed bayonets 
and a prolonged shout. The battle-line was deliberately 
formed behind the brow of a hill, beyond which intervened a 
sort of irregular ravine, next the slope of the commanding 
hills or ridges, on whose summits, well fortified, the enemy was 
thickly arrayed. Colonel Dustin led his men right into the 
spirit of the conflict, and notwithstanding it was the first time 
the regiment had been under fire, the officers and men bore 
themselves bravely and well. It was a dreadful day's work. 
The number of casualties was about fifty in the regiment ere 
it came out of the strife. The names of the killed and 
Avounded will be founded appended to this sketch. Lieutenant 
Colonel Vallette Avas severely disabled by a bursting shell, 
which necessitated his retirement from the service. Captain 
W. 0. Locke, of Company I, and First Lieutenant W. M. 
Tirtlot, of Company F, Avere Avounded. Young Arthur P. 
Rice, of Company F, the bravest of the brave, fell inside the 
rebel fort. He Avas the first boy in Wheaton to mount the 
stand at the call of Captain Daniels for the service of his 

In his official report of this battle Colonel Dustin pays the 
following tribute to the officers and men of the regiment : 

"At a time AYhcn for several hours so terrible a shoAver of 
musketry, shot and shell Avas being poured upon us from the 
rebel forts and rifle-pits, the coolness and bravery of the 
officers in repeating commands, correcting imperfections in 
the lines and pressing it forward Avas observed by me with 
great pride and satisfaction, and Avas only equaled by the 
splendid manner in Avhich the men overcame all obstacles, 
obeyed promptly all orders, and at last gallantly threAv them- 
s elves high up into and under the rebel fortifications." 


The brigade stood at arms during most of the nigtit, pre- 
pared to repel a night attack. An attack being made, as 
anticipated, it was successfully repulsed. 

During the night the rebel army retreated hastily, leaving 
their exceedingly strong works at Kesaca. On the morning 
of the 1 6th the army started in pursuit ; the first brigade 
being left behind to bury their dead, did not follow until 
evening, marched about twelve miles after dark, coming up 
to the balance of the division late in the night. On the 17th, 
marched about twelve miles, crossing Coosawater river. On 
the 18th, moved to within four miles of Cassville, on the 
Adairsville and Cassville road, the advance of the Third 
Division driving the rebel rear guard before it a distance of 
five miles. 

Colonel Dustin gives the following account of the opera- 
tions of the 19th of May, in his official report : 

" On the morning of the 19th our brigade was ordered 
forward on the Cassville road supported by other troops. The 
105th was ordered to take the advance. Companies H and I 
were deployed as skirmishers under Captain Forsythe ; one 
company under Captain M. V. Allen being left in charge of 
the ammunition train. The balance of the regiment consti- 
tuted a support to the skirmish line. Thus formed, our 
brigade moved rapidly forward and the skirmishers were soon 
encountered and by a rapid skirmish fire they were driven 
beyond Two Run Creek and to within one mile and a half of 
Cassville, during which time the utmost regularity and good 
order was observed both by our skirmishers and reserves. 
At this point was developed a large force of rebel cavalry, 
and we were ordered to halt. Very soon the enemy opened 
a battery upon us in our front from which we were under a 
severe fire for some two hours. We were then ordered to 
move further to the right, connecting with our third brigade 
in whose front the enemy seemed to be massing troops prepar- 
atory to a general engagement. But our artillery just at 
this time opened with deadly effect, scattering the rebels in 


all directions. This was followed up immediately by v» grand 
advance of the entire Twentieth Corps. The grand column 
moved forward in excellent order, with colors flying, through 
large, open fields, crossing Two Run Creek and then ascend- 
ing a thickly wooded hill. On reaching the top of the hill 
the artillery again took position and opened fire in good order, 
and thus the region of Kingston and Cassville was effectually 
cleared of rebel soldiery and the day's work for the 19th was 


A concentration of the troops occurred here on the evening 
of the 19th, lying over till the 23d to rest, the enemy retir- 
ing in the interim. 

On the day following the battle of Reseca, Major General 
Butterfield, commander Third Division, issued the following 
congratulatory order : 

" Headquarters 3d. Division 20th Army Corps, ) 
Near Reseca, Ga., May 16th, 1864. j" 
" Gen Orders, No. 4. 

The Major-General commanding feels it a duty, as well as 
a pleasure, to congratulate the Division upon its achievements 
yesterday. The gallant assault and charge of the First 
Brigade, capturing four guns in the enemy's fort ; the brave 
support of the assault by a portion of the Second Brigade on 
the left, with the glorious repulse it gave twice its force, proves 
the Division Avorthy a high name and fame. Let every one 
endeavor by attention to duty, obedience to orders, devotion 
and courage, to make our record in the future as in the past, 
such that the army and the country will be proud of us. 
By command of Major General Butterfield, 

John Speed, Captain and A. A. G." 

General Sherman in his report of the operations of his army, 
referring to the eventful days at Reseca, says : 

" Nothing saved Johnston's army at Reseca, but the 
impracticable nature of the country, which made the passage 
of troops across the valley almost impossible. This fact 
enabled his army to reach Reseca from Dalton, along the 
comparatively good roads constructed beforehand, partly from 


the topographical nature of the country, and partly from the 
foresight of the rebel chief. At all events, on the 14th of May, 
we found the rebel army in a strong position, behind Camp 
Creek, occupying the forts at Reseca, and his right on some 
high chestnut hills to the north of the town. I at once ordered 
a pontoon bridge to be laid across the Oostenaula at Lay's 
Ferry, in the direction of Calhoun, a division of the Sixteenth 
Corps, commanded by General Sweeney to cross and threaten 
Calhoun ; also, the cavalry division of General Garrard to 
move from its position at Villanow, down towards Home, to 
cross the Oostanaula and break the railroad below Calhoun 
and above Kingston if possible, and with the main army I 
pressed against Reseca at all points. Gen. McPherson got 
across Camp Creek near its mouth, and made a lodgment close 
up to the enemy's works, on hills that commanded, with short 
range artillery, the railroad and trestle bridges, and General 
Thomas pressing close along Camp Creek Valley, threw 
General Hooker's Corps across the head of the Creek, to the 
main Dalton road and down to it close on Reseca. 

" General Schofield came up on his left, and a heavy battle 
ensued during the afternoon and evening of the 15th, during 
which General Hooker drove the enemy from several strong 
hills, captured a four-gun battery and many prisoners. That 
night Johnston escaped retreating south across the Oostanaula. " 

The following letter was written by the Captain of the rebel 
battery, which the 105th assisted in capturing at Reseca. It 
appears the Captain designed sending it to his wife by a 
wounded rebel, but the latter was taken prisoner, and the letter 
fell into the hands of a member of the 105th. We dve it 
verbatim et literatim : 

" Reseca, Ga. may 15 
My Dear wife 

John Thompson is going home to Cassville 
wounded I thought I would drop you a line by him 
The Yankees charged on my battery this P M and captured 
2 sections of it many of our men and attendants were wounded 


It was as daring an exploit as when my brothers was charged 
at antietam Va by Co new york Reg 

They threw themselves into the front as unconscious of 
danger as ducks into a pond 

I tell you and will to stow away every thing of value 
fearing we shall have to fall back from here if we do the 
yankees will get everything in reach. 

We had to fight hookers command here or else the battery 
never would have been taken. 

I hear we are gaining on the yankees in Va and we would 
have whipped them here if it had not been for Hookers 

They all wore a star. 
If we hold our ground here I will see you ere long. 
I want you to send sis and James to grand Pas and you go to 
uncle Johns Take all the things you can 
I must close as the train will leave immediately your husband 
Unto Death w w c 

P S our position here was very 

good but we have to fall back keep up good courage. I hope 
what I have said will not prove discouraging to you. w w c 

The term, "Ward's Ducks," originated from the Captain's 
allusion to the men of the First Brigade in the fourth 
paragraph, " throwing themselves into the front as unconscious 
of danger as ducks into a pond." 

After two days' rest near Kingston, the advance was resumed 
on the 23d, proceeded some eight or ten miles, crossing the 
Etowah and bivouacking in the woods beyond. Ou the 24th, 
marched to and beyond Burnt Hickory, threw up breastworks 
and bivouacked. On the 25th, marched back through Burnt 
Hickory and changed course somewhat, but still advancing. 
At about three o'clock, the division met the enemy in 
considerable force, and a sharp engagement occurred — the 
Second and Third brigades formed the first line, and the 
First brigade the second. The 105th 3 together with the 
brigade, being thus under fire, from close proximity to the 


front line, although not actively engaged, suffered severely, 
the number of casualties being fourteen wounded. First 
Lieutenant J. W. Burst of Company C, had his right leg shot 
away by a rebel shell, lie was a good officer, and his loss 
was regretted by his company and the regiment. Adjutant 
Chandler was also stunned, being grazed by a shell or grape 
shot, on the neck, and shoulder. 

On the 26th the regiment and brigade laid behind breast- 
works under fire. On the 27th, the brigade was ordered to 
advance a few rods in front of the breastworks and throw up 
another line of works. This was done under a severe fire from 
the rebel sharp-shooters. The casualties in the 105th 
amounted to fourteen including two commanding officers, 
several of the men being killed. On the 28th they lay behind 
the new works which had cost the regiment so much to build 
the day before. On the 20th, the brigade was relieved and 
moved ba k out of range, after being under fire for nearly 
four days. But the 105th was not to rest long. The major 
portion of the regiment was detailed for skirmish duty on the 
31st. On the first of June skirmishers and regiment were 
relieved and ordered to march and overtake the brigade, which 
had moved around on the left of the lines. A five mile march 
after dark brought the tired and worn men of the 105th up 
with the brigade, when the men laid down on their arms. On 
the following day, June 2d, took up a position, after moving 
several miles, preparatory as was thought, to a general 
engagement — covering the flank and supporting the left of the 
twenty-third Corps under General Schofield About dusk, 
the 105th regiment was thrown out on the extreme left as 
flankers, and Avas furiously shelled while performing this duty. 
Two companies were thrown out from the regiment as pickets 
and skirmishers under Major Dutton. Here the regiment 
lost its able and greatly esteemed chief surgeon, Horace S. 
Potter, then acting Brigade Surgeon. He was struck by a 
shell on the head, the frontal bone being crushed in or torn 
from the skull. Surgeon Pottor was selecting; grounds for 


a field hospital, when the missile of death took effect. Quarter- 
master Timothy Wells, who was with him at the time, had the 
remains immediately taken off' the field and carried to the rear. 
S. W. Saylor, leader of the Brigade Band, and a kinsman of 
Surgeon Potter's, secured a leave of absence and took the body 
home. On Sunday the > r )th, Chaplain Champlin preached a 
sermon in memory of Surgeon Potter. The entire regiment 
listened attentively to the Chaplain's well-chosen words, and 
all felt more or less keenly a loss which could never be fully 
repaired in the person of any other medical officer. 

Horace S. Potter was born in Chatauqua County, New 
York, about 1834, and came to Illinois in 1838, his family 
having settled in Warrenville, Du Page County, remained 
there until 1867, studying medicine with Dr. L. Q. Newton, 
a prominent physician of that place, — and graduated at Iowa 
State University. From Warrenville, moved to Danby, same 
County, in 1851, practicing medicine until May, 1856, when 
he moved to Chicago, where he was engaged in his profession, 
previous to entering the public service as Chief Surgeon of 
the 105th rejnnient. 

Contrary to anticipations, no general engagement came oft* 
on the 2d, and on the 3d the Twentieth Corps moved around 
and beyond the enemy's right, and camped about three miles 
from Ackworth, remaining until the 6th, when the command 
moved forward, passing on the right of Big Shanty to near 
Golgotha Church, where the entire Corps took up a prominent 
position in line of battle and immediately threw up intrench- 

From this time to the 15th were laying quietly behind 
breastworks with no enemy close enough to skirmish with. 

On the 10th, the Fourth Corps took position in front of the 
breastworks, moving aWay the next morning when the First 
division of the Twentieth Corps moved up and occupied their 
place. "While here a heavy rain, commencing in the night on 
the 8th and continuing until the 14th, gave the troops a severe 
drenching. On the 12th heavy cannonading was heard on 
the right and left. 


On the 15th broke up camp and moved together with the 
Corps beyond Golgotha Church, encountering the enemy in a 
very strong position. The command marched up in line of 
battle, the 105th under Major Dutton was thrown forward to 
support the skirmishers which covered the front of the brigade. 
The skirmishers, with the 105th close behind, advanced 
promptly, soon followed by the other regiments of the brigade 
in line of battle, when they were crowded forward until the 
enemy's intrcnchments were in full view, and his skirmishers 
driven back close to their main works. A spirited engagement 
was going on, the hardest of the fighting occurring; on the 


right and left of the line. The regiment, however, was under 
a terrible skirmish fire, which amounted to little less than an 
engagement. Brisk firing was kept up until dark, when 
light lines of works were thrown up. On the 16th, the brigade 
advanced and constructed strong breastworks, in the face of 
the enemy's sharpshooters, suffering a loss of nine, and one 
killed. The enemy shelled the regiments after dark, after 
which the brigade was relieved and ordered behind a second 
line of works to the rear. During the night the enemy 
retired, leaving the strongest line of fortifications the boys had 
yet seen. The casualties of the 105th on the 15th and 16th, 
were nineteen. 

On the morning of the 17th, the national troops entered the 
rebel entrenchments and marched on, coming up with the 
enemy in the afternoon. 

The division moved about two miles, entering a large, open 
field, when it was formed into two lines and plunged into a 
thick wood on the right, moving along until it came in contact 
with the Twenty-third Corps, still further to the right. Being 
then moved to the left, emerged into the open field, where the 
division was massed. Here the regiment camped. 

On the 18th the cannoniers kept up a heavy firing. The 
enemy moved back and took up a strong position on the top 
of Kcnesaw mountain, near Marietta, extending his lines 
about due North and South. Our army followed him up, 


drove him back considerably on the 10th, and pressed him on 
the 20th and 21st\ 

From the 18th to the 21st inclusive, the troops received a 
thorough drenching from a series of heavy showers. Remained 
encamped on the 18th. On the 19th moved forward through 
rain and mud, crossing two fords, the men getting thoroughly 
wet to the knees. Rain came down in torrents during the 
passage of the first stream. In the evening went into line 
between the Fourth Corps on the left and the Twenty-third 
Corps on the right. On the 20th and 21st, severe skirmish 
firing was kept up while perfecting the lines. On the 22d, 
the brigade, in conjunction with other troops, advanced the 
lines and built breastworks under a brisk fire. The regiment 
suffered a loss of ten, — one commissioned officer accidentally 
wounded, two men killed, and seven severely wounded. 
Regiment was relieved in the evening ; moved some distance 
to the right, and bivouacked for the night. 

The division on the 23d was again placed in the front line 
on the right of the Corps, connecting with the left of the 23d 
Corps. The regiment was assigned a position very near the 
battle ground, and where they were burying rebel dead Avho 
fell before the works the day before. Very heavy cannonading 
was heard on Kenesaw Mountain. On the 24th, the brigade 
lay behind a third line of works, at rest, and remained there 
until the night of the 26th, when it was moved to the front line 
of works, relieving Colonel Coburn's Second brigade, of the 
Third division. Here the works of the opposing forces were 
within short musket range, and the men were obliged to keep 
their heads down to save them from perforation. It was 
thought the enemy was meditating an attack at this point, but 
on the night of the 3d of July he fell back, yielding up his 
whole position around Marietta, and on the commanding 
bights of Kenesaw. 

This alternative of the rebels was impelled by a brilliant 
Hank movement by the flanking army under Major General 


The First brigade was relieved on the night of the 29th, 
(June,) by the Third brigade of the division, and moved back 
from the front line of works. In the evening of July 1st, the 
First brigade relieved the Second brigade behind the second 
line of works. Nothing of moment occurred until the 3d of 
July, when, leading the van, the First brigade, headed by 
Brigadier General Ward, commanding division in absence of 
Major General Butterfield, and Colonel Ben Harrison of the 
70th Indiana, commanding brigade, advanced into the strong- 
works of the enemy, the latter having retreated during the 
night, as mentioned above. The Third division advanced on 
the Marietta road in the direction of the town, the head of the 
column encountering the rebel rear near that place, who 
opened vigorously with shot and shell. A section of artillery 
was immediately detached from Captain Smith's battery, under 
his charge. The First brigade supported the guns while the 
gallant Captain silenced the rebel artillery. The 105th being 
posted immediately in rear of the battery, was exposed to a 
perfect storm of shot and shell from the enemy's guns, but 
escaped with only one man killed, and twoAvounded. Several 
of the battery boys Avere badly mangled by rebel shells. The 
division left the main pike and advanced in the direction of 
the Chattahoochee river, scouring the woods in a rather zigzag 
manner until sundown. The 4th of July found the regiment 
and division encamped about four miles from Marietta, on a 
high open field, in sight of rebels and rebel works. Here, 
rested until afternoon, unfurling the national colors in honor 
of the day. After dinner a march through woods and fields 
brought the command to a deserted farm, well shaded and 
supplied with water. Fortunately, the 105th was assigned a 
camping ground contiguous to an apple orchard, the trees of 
which were hanging full of fruit. The harvest was not long 
suffered to remain ungarnered, and the humble collations of 
the boys were materially improved that night, with what they 
were pleased to call " applejack." 
n the 5th, moved about six miles, arriving within two 


miles of Chattahoochee river and meeting the enemy's pickets. 
Regiment shifted its position on the 6th and went into camp. 
An order was issued for the command to rest as much as pos- 
sible during the time it might remain quiet. The entire corps 
rested until the afternoon of the 17th, when orders were 
received to cross the river. It was late in the night before 
the corps bivauocked on the other side. The 105th was im- 
mediately detailed for picket duty — a severe task to perform 
after a tedious march of some ten miles. 

Daring the temporary rest enjoyed by the 105th, as above 
indicated, Colonel Dustin received a leave of absence for 
twenty days, starting for his home in Sycamore on the 13th. 
Major E. F. Dutton succeeded Colonel Dustin in the com- 
mand of the regiment, and senior Captain H. D. Brown, of 
Company A, assumed the duties of the Major. 

The command moved a few miles on the 18th, reaching a 
point on the Marietta and Decatur road, Avithin one and a half 
miles of Howell's mills, which, on the 20th, was the immediate 
scene of the memorable and brilliant engagement and victory 
of the first brigade, in the great battle of Atlanta. Here 
the brigade rested on the 19th, and on the 20th moved for- 
ward and formed in line of battle on the south side of Peach 
Tree Creek, comprising a portion of the force which closed 
up a gap existing in the lines, and which the rebels were 
seeking with desperate eagerness. They found it, but too 
late to answer the purpose of victory. The 102d Illinois, 
79th Ohio and 129th Illinois formed the first line, connectinir 
with the second brigade on the left. The 70th Indiana and 
105th Illinois formed the second line, distance from the first, 
some two hundred yards. Between two and three o'clock, 
afternoon, the pickets on the crest of a hill in the brigade 
front commenced firing, the enemy charging over the open 
field in his front several lines deep. The lines of the division 
immediately advanced in splendid order up the hill when, on 
gaining the crest, they were so close upon the rebels that 
several regiments were intermingled. 


Major E. F. Dutton, in absence of Colonel Dustin, com- 
manded the regiment, assisted by senior Captain II. D. 
Brown, the former acting as Lieutenant-Colonel, the latter 
as Major. The second brigade having moved obliquely to 
the left, and the first line of the first brigade to the right, 
the front of 105th was nearly uncovered. Seeing the enemy 
coming in large numbers down the slope of the second hill, 
Major Dutton ordered the men to open fire, which was 
promptly done, the regiment advancing in good order, after a 
brief halt on the hill. The battle now raged furiously, the 
troops of the regiments giving not an inch of ground, but 
advancing, standing right up to the work. Soon the masses 
of rebels, after making a brave fight, indeed, faltered, and the 
national troops drove them back over the second hill and 
open field, the 105th reaching the summit almost simultane- 
ously with the troops of the first line, from which point the 
regiment poured several volleys into the disordered and re- 
treating ranks of the enemy. The fighting continued until 
dark, when the regiment and brigade commenced throwing 
up breastworks, and were busy at this work until nearly 

Major Dutton, in his report of this engagement, com- 
plimented the bravery and endurance of the subordinate 
officers and men of the regiment, and they in turn compli- 
mented the gallantry and dash of the Major. Captain IT. D. 
Brown, acting Major, with an air of coolness and firmness, 
assisted in pressing forward the line, and Adjutant D. D. 
Chandler, always at his post, and constituted the third person 
in the regiment's executive trinity. The splendid conduct 
of these officers on the field was the subject of enthusiastic 
comment on all hands, after the battle. The line officers 
were unusually enthusiastic, and led the men forward with 
the one idea that a victory was to be gained. And the men 
went in to win, even if it were necessary, to close in hand to 
hand struggle, which, indeed was done. 

Among the trophies of the regiment was one beautiful 


stand of colors, said by prisoners to have belonged to the 
l'2th Louisiana regiment, together Avith several swords and 
belts. The colors were captured by Sergeant Melvin Smith 
and George F. Cram, of Company F, and which capture 
was reported in the paper as " glory for the 105th." 

The colors of the 10f>th were pierced with bullets, one 
shot going through the flag staff. The relics taken by the 
regiment were sent to the headquarters of the army, with the 
request that they be placed in' the State archives at Spring- 

The casualties were fifteen, six men being killed or mortally 
wounded, and it was miraculous that the Regiment did not 
suffer a loss of five times that number in so long and hard 
fought a battle, and the only manner of accounting for so provi- 
dential an escape was, that most of the time the enemy were 
posted on the hill above the 105th, and in firing down the hill 
their shots were almost invariably made too high. 

After the strife had died away and the moon had risen on 
the scene, an inspection of the grounds in front of the regi- 
ment and brigade. The sight was fearful. Dying and dead 
rebels lay in all attitudes of suffering and death. The youth 
and the middle-aged lay in their gore in groups or scattered 
about where they had fallen. Two dead rebels were noticed 
lying side-by-side. The arm of one was stretched upward 
and the fingers pointing to the moon, as though he would in" 
dicate to his comrade the way to the abodes of peace. Among 
the rebel wounded there was a young girl only nineteen years 
of age. A ball had struck her ankle and she was obliged to 
have her foot amputated. She bore her suffering heroically, 
and stated she had been in the service twenty-eight months. 
Many interesting incidents occurred, which if detailed would 
fill pages upon pages of history. A member of the regiment 
casually surveyed the battle grounds, now inside the lines, 

and offered refreshments to the suffering and dving. To in- 
to v o 

quiries as to the extent of injuries, such answers as " Yes, I 
can't live till morning" issued from tremulous lips, when life's 


fitful fever was nearly over. On the faces of the dead the 
usual expressions of placid repose, fear, agony or fierce 
despair, lingered, and altogether the scene was one no pen 
could portray. 

The morning of the 21st dawned on one of the greatest 
victories of the Avar, and the footing of the national army on 
the south side of Peach Tree Creek was equally as secure as 
its footing on south side of Chattahooche river. 

Lieutenant Willard Scott, jr, of Captain Rogers' Company, 
with a small party, buried the dead rebels on the morning of 
the 21st. 

During the battle General Ward, commanding the division, 
had made his headquarters in the valley, near the creek, at 
a point that commanded a view of the ground where his 
division fought. The old General was reported as being in 
ecstasy of delight when the first brigade entered the contest. 
k " See my old Iron Brigade,"' said he, striking his fists together. 
" Sec my old Iron Brigade — see them go in — the best d — d 
brigade in the service!" The brigade preserved an unbroken 
line throughout the fight. The entire Corps was elated with 
the victory, it being gained in open field, the advantages 
greatly in favor of the enemy. 

General Hooker rode along the lines the morning of the 
battle, receiving the enthusiastic cheers of the soldiers. lie 
afterwards issued a congratulatory order. 

General Hood, who commanded the Confederates, is re- 
ported as having remarked to his men as they were about to 
move to the attack, that they were going out to " gather 
acorns ;" alluding to the soldiers of the 14th Corps, who 
wore a badge representing an acorn. Their purpose was to 
break through on the left of that Corps, supposing they 
would meet nothing more than a line of skirmishers in their 
front. They were not less surprised than disappointed, 
however, to find themselves among the "stars." 

After the burial of the rebel dead by the army on the 21st, 
the clearing up of the battle field — collection and turning 


over of ordinance and other property, — the troops advanced 
on the morning of the 22d toward Atlanta, the enemy having 
fallen back and established himself behind the inner defenses 
around the city. About one mile from the battle-field of the 
20th, a strong line of works Avere found, the second line of 
city defenses, which the enemy did not stop to occupy. 

Having proceeded several miles, the sound of opposing 
skirmishers warned the troops, who were marching by the 
Hank toward the city, that the " Johnnies" were about to 
make further resistance. The regiments were immediately 
formed in battle line and marched forward to within sight of 
the rebel defenses, when a halt was ordered and strong earth- 
works thrown up. The country through which this short 
advance was made was prolific of blackberries, which were 
left to the "bummers." After the brigade was halted he 
105th found itself on the crest of one of the numerous hills 
for which the face of that region is noted. This position 
proved to be the most exposed of any regiment in the brigade, 
it being elevated and directly opposite a rebel battery. The 
boys quickly constructed earthworks here in order to protect 
themselves from the harrassing fire of the enemy. A battery 
Avas placed immediately behind the works, which made the 
position of the 105th an interesting one. So soon as the 
guns were in position a deliberate fire was opened on the 
opposing battery, which elicited immediate reply from the 
latter. For a while the boys of the 105th found it behooved 
them to "lie down" and "grab a root,"' until the novelty of 
the situation wore away. After dark the rebels made two 
dashes into the pickets in front of the brigade. And so — on 
the 22d of July, 1864, the seige of Atlanta commenced. 

The position of the command here was about one or two 
miles north-east of the Georgia Railroad Avhich connects 
Atlanta with Marietta and Chattanooga. A direct forward 
movement Avould have brought the brigade into the northern 
suburbs of the city. On the 23d the enemy shelled the 
regiment and battery at intervals all day and at night. Next 


day the same, the battery replying occasionally. The pickets 
were again alarmed in the evening. The same routine of 
artillery firing and dashing among the pickets was gone 
through with on the 25th. 

The picket line in the brigade front was somewhat in 
advance of the line on the right and left. A deep ravine 
running from the enemy's works traversed the left of the 
brigade line, and lead into the rear of the picket reserve post. 
The line might have been flanked here had the rebels been 
disposed to attempt it. This made this advanced position 
one demanding constant and close watchfulness. The rebels 
made a strong dash on that part of the line on the night of 
the 24th, when a heavy fire of musketry took place. 
Lieutenant Trego, of the 102d Illinois, was in charge of the 
outposts at that time, several of his men becoming frightened, 
fled to the rear, but the Lieutenant rallied the balance and 
under the enemy's fire gallantly urged them to stand firm, 
which they did. Soon the rebels were repulsed, after which 
the Lieutenant found that the reserve post had been abandoned 
by all but Lieutenant Willard Scott of the 105th, and a few 
men. It appears that two heavy lines of rebels were repelled 
by a skirmish line, which had been ingloriously deserted by 
the most of the supporting force. 

The lines were advanced and new entrenchments made 
during the first three days. On the night of the 26th the 
division moved back some distance in reserve, the 105th 
occupying some abandoned works. On the 28th orders were 
received to move around to the right of the general line for 
the purpose of supporting General Howard's forces, who had 
become heavily engaged with the enemy, but before the 
command had arrived within supporting distance, word was 
sent to return to camp ; the rebels having already been 
successfully repulsed. 

During the battle on the extreme left on the 22d, the noble 
commander of the Army of the Tennessee, fell — James B. 
McPherson. That command had constituted the flanking 


army, and on the way from Chattanooga to Atlanta applied 
the key to the locks of rebel positions. The news of Mc- 
Pherson's death was received along the lines amid express- 
ions of disappointment and with feelings of sorrow. 

General Hooker called the officers of the Third Division 
together on the 29th, and bade them farewell, informing them 
that he had been ill used, and could no longer remain in com- 
mand of the Twentieth Corps. The officers and men reluct- 
antly parted with the dashing old General, who had seemed 
every way worthy of his "stars." 

On the 29th the Third division moved around to the right 
some six miles, to support other movements and to protect the 
flank of the army near the Montgomery and West Point 
Railroad. The brigade supported a division of the Fourth 
Corps, under General Jefferson C. Davis, while the latter took 
up a new position. Moved in rear of that division and 
constructed breastworks at a right angle with the main line, 
protecting the flank and rear. Remained here doing picket 
duty and working on fortifications until the 2d of August, 
when the command moved back along the left of the lines, and 
on the 3d relieved the First division of the Fourteenth Corps, 
behind the front line of works, and near the Georgia Railroad ; 
the left of the 105th rested on the railroad track. 

The next day (4th,) Colonel Dustin arrived from leave of 
absence in improved health, and assumed command of the 
regiment. His return was hailed with delight by all, especially 
as he brought with him numerous packages for distribution 
among the officers and men, from the friends of the regiment. 
Major Dutton and Captain Brown were on the 4th mustered 
in as Lieutenant Colonel and Major, respectively, having been 
previously recommended for those positions. The promotion 
in the field of those brave and popular officers gave great 
satisfaction to the regiment, as experience had developed in 
them rare executive powers and good soldierly qualities. 

The regiment remained in the trenches until the night of 
the 25th, when the entire Corps fell back to the Chattahoochee 


river, and the main army moved to the right, seizing upon 
the only railroad left to the rebels/ which resulted in the 
capture of Atlanta. 

While lying in the trenches before Atlanta the energies of 
the troops were severely tested by the hard labor necessary 
for the construction of heavy works, abatis, etc. A battery 
— being portions of Captains Smith' and Geary's — was located 
behind the fortifications with the 105th regiment, and the 
boys in addition to strengthening their works were detailed 
to assist the battery men in building extra works for the bet- 
ter protection of the gunners from the shells of the rebel 
guns. A strong; fortification, about six feet hio-h, was con- 
structed with logs and dirt, in the form of a semi-circle, long 
enough to receive four guns with ease, the officers and men of 
the regiment detailed for the purpose, working at night in 
order to avoid the fire of rebel sharp-shooters. The battery 
frequently opened on the rebel defenses, which were in plain 
view, making the regiment "bob" their heads down occasion- 
ally, as the fragments of rebel iron came screaming through 
the air in close proximity to their respective persons. Now 
and then a shell would burst immediately over the "bummer's" 
quarters, further to the rear, sometimes disturbing the equi- 
librium of that class of "bummers " avIio would like to "get 
through safe if they could." 

Amid the perils of the situation there Avere always found a 
few humorous spirits whose forte seemed to he to relieve, by 
some timely joke or "flash of merriment," the pains of the 
hour. Many a poor, despairing mother's boy had never seen 
his earthly home again had he not been made to forget his 
troubles by the wit or facetiousness of these happy fellows. 
In the different companies of the regiment were many such 
characters. No difficulties overcame them ; they were 
constitutionally cheerful, and capable of extracting good cheer 
out of every occasion. Endurance was born of cheerfulness, 
and so they fainted not. 

On the 9th, the guns along the lines opened and kept up a 


steady fire nearly all day, on the rebel defenses and the city. 
The rebel battery replied in the evening to the salutations of 
the guns of Captains Smith and Geary. Almost constantly, 
day and night, the regiment was exposed to the fire of sharp- 
shooters, the balls falling all about the grounds behind the 
works, now and then striking a man. In this wiy Corporal 
J. L. Gage, of Company II, Captain J. S. Forsythe, was 
mortally wounded on the 12th, and a faithful colored cook of 
Company K, Captain A. F. Parke, instantly killed while 
eating his dinner, on the 14th. 

(hi the morning of the 13th, Second Lieutenant Augustus 
IT. Fischer of Company I, a most excellent young officer and 
esteemed comrade, was killed on the skirmish line in front of 
the works. His loss was deeply felt by all the officers and 
men of the regiment ; especially by the members of Company 
I., who had shared the dangers of conflict by his side, and 
respected him for his bravery. Lieutenant Fischer will be 
remembered for his genial temper, his unswerving fidelity, and 
his self-sacrifice. 

On the evening of the 16th, while superintending some 
work near the fortification before his company (E), Captain 
Martin V. Allen was severely wounded in his right arm, by a 
bullet from a sharpshooter. A number of men were mor- 
tally wounded on the skirmish line. 

The skirmish line was in such close proximity to the enemy 
that the men had to exercise the utmost caution, and expend 
much labor in building rifle-pits for the security of the pickets 
and skirmishers. The enemy seemed to take especial excep- 
tions to the operations of the men at this point in the lines, 
and kept up a steady, severe, and almost incessant fire for 
several weeks. Being accustomed to take shelter behind cer- 
tain houses near their own lines, thev gained, some advantage 
in firing upon our men. Efforts had been made with the rebel 
pickets to stop this firing by mutual agreement, without suc- 
cess. On the night of the 18th Corporal Herman Furness, 
of Company C, and two comrades of the 105th, equipped 


with combustible material, proceeded cautiously out and set 
three of the buildings on fire, burning them to the ground. 
It was well and bravely done, after which picket-firing was 
finally stopped by mutual consent. 

Just back of the lines, several thirty-two pound parrot gun 
were operating almost continually night and day, for some 
weeks, shelling the city of Atlanta and the rebel defenses. 
Occasionally shells from these guns would prematurely ex- 
plode before reaching our own lines, the pieces scattering in 
all directions among the men of the I05th, causing some an- 
noyance, but no one was hurt by them. With additional 
danger it was amusing to hear the boys crying, " Hello ! fire 
in the rear !" " Lie down !" " Grab a root !" 

On the night of the 25th, the command withdrew from be- 
hind the works — the Brigade Band playing " Yankee Doodle " 
and other airs byway of a parting courtesy to the " Johnnies." 
During the night, as if suspecting the troops were retiring 
from their front, the rebel pickets fired at the 105th skirmish- 
ers occasionally, and inquired, " Are you there ?" To which 
inquiry they received a ready affirmative, " Yes, we are here." 
Whereupon the rebels would respond, " We just wanted to be 
sure about it — don't want you to get away without our 
knowledge of the fact." While this conversation was going 
on the whole army was moving from behind the works, and 
the rebels soon found themselves outwitted. The 105th 
pickets failed to get the order to retire during [the night, 
and remained at their several posts until about daylight in 
the morning, long after the troops and other pickets had 

The command moved back to Chattahoochee river, after 
being on the road all night, arriving at early dawn. On the 
26th bivouacked on the south side of the river, and on the 
27th crossed the river and took up a position near the rail- 
road track, between the 33d Massachusetts and 120th Illinois 
regiments, where the 105th went into camp. Here the regiment 
with axes and hatchets hewed out a fine camping-place in the 


woods. Together with the balance of the brigade the 105th 
guarded army supplies, ammunition and corps teams. 

On the morning of the 2d of September, Brigadier-General 
Ward, division commander, entered the city with a portion of 
the Third division, and the mayor formally surrendered to 
him all that was left of Atlanta. The regiment was moved 
back to the south side of the river, near the railroad bridge, 
where it remained in camp until the morning of the 16th of 
September, when all the regiments of the brigade except the 
105th, moved to Atlanta and re-joined the division, the 10 5th 
re-crossing the river and camping close to the railroad track 
a few hundred yards from the river. Here, again the boys 
fitted up good quarters, and thoroughly policed their camp 
grounds, which were located pleasantly, facing an almost 
unobstructed view of the Chattahoochee river and valley for 
a distance of about eight miles. 

With the capture of Atlanta, what is called the " Atlanta 
campaign" ended. The entire army had, amid tempests- of fire 
Avhich burst forth at various points, and under a steady rain 
of bullets for four long months, swept majestically down from 
Chattanooga to Atlanta, over mountains, rivers, and a con- 
tinuous succession of hills and ravines. The country between 
the two places named, constituted one great battle-field for 
upwards of an hundred miles. While in camp on the south 
side of Chattahoochee river, on the 10th of September, the 
following congratulatory order of the Major-General com- 
manding was read to the 105th, while on dress parade for the 
first time in four months. General Sherman in general terms 
summed up the achievements of the army, thanked the officers 
and men for their indomitable courage, their perseverance and 
fidelity, and paid an eloquent tribute to the memory of fallen 
comrades . 

From the 16th of September to the 14th of November the 
105th remained encamped at Chattahoochee river, near the 
railroad bridge, as already mentioned. 

Colonel Dustin w T as placed in command of the first brigade 


on the 18tb of September, Colonel Harrison having been 
ordered to Indiana on special business. Lieutenant Colonel 
Dutton succeeded in command of the 105th. Subsequently 
General Ward received leave of absence for thirty days, "when 
Colonel Dustih succeeded that officer in command of the 
division, Colonel Smith of the 102d Illinois commanding the 

The changes occurring among the commissioned officers 
during the campaign and while the regiment rested at Chatta- 
hoochee river, were : 

Lieutenant-Colonel li. F. Vallette, Naperville, DuPage 
county, resigned June 18th, 1804, Major E. F. Dutton, De- 
Kalb county, succeeding as Lieutenant-Colonel ; mustered 
August 4th, 1864. 

Captain II. 1>. Brown, Company A, Sycamore, was pro- 
moted Major June 18th, — mustered August 4th, First-Lieu- 
tenant George B. Heath succeeding as Captain. 

First Assistant Surgeon Alfred Waterman, Warrenville, 
promoted Chief Surgeon, June 2d : Second Assistant Surgeon 
George W. Boggs, Naperville, succeeded as First Assistant 

Captain Theodore S. Rogers, Company B, Naperville, 
resigned September 30th, 1804, First Lieutenant Lucius B. 
Church, Winfield, succeeding as Captain. Lieut. Church 
had been detailed at Gallatin on General Paine's staff, where 
he remained after the regiment moved from that point. Sub- 
sequently he was detailed as Post-Quartermaster, and ordered 
to Paducah, Kentucky, where he remained during the balance 
of his term of service. Second Lieutenant Willard Scott Avas 
commissioned First Lieutenant, September 30th, 1804, but 
for some unaccountable reason not mustered until June 1st, 
1865, within six days of the muster-out of the regiment. 
Although entitled to enjoy such rank from every consideration 
of merit and capacity, he sustained his original position in 
Company B until the end of the Avar, being the only officerin 



i 'In, mv" Liil-.u4rj|.]iPii'-i'ui'lii 


the regiment remaining with it to the end, Avhose services had 
not been officially acknowledged and rewarded. 

First Lieutenant, John W. Burst, Company C, Franklin, 
honorably discharged, October 10th, 1864, on account of 
wounds received at Burnt Hickory, May 25th. First Ser- 
geant Isaac S. Brundage, Cortland, promoted First Lieutenant 
October, 18th. First Lieutenant William M. Tirtlot, Company 
F, honorably discharged, November 28th, 1864, on account 
of wounds received at Reseca, May 15th. First Sergeant 
Melvin Smith, Winfield, promoted First Lieutenant, April 
13th, not mustered until March 30, 1865. 

Captain John B. Nash, Company G, Franklin, resigned 
July 17th, 1864. First Lieutenant John M. Smith commis- 
sioned Captain but not mustered. 

First Lieutenant Harvey Potter, Company II, Ashbury, 
DeKalb, resigned August 17th, 1864, First Sergeant Frank 
II. Cole, Somonauk, succeeding as First Lieutenant. 

Captain William 0. Locke, Company I, Addison, Du Page, 
honorably discharged, August 25th, 1864, on account of 
wounds received at Reseca, May 15th, First Lieutenant George 
A. Bender, Chicago, mustered as Captain, October 15th. 

First Sergeant Henry Reinking, Company I, Addison, 
commissioned Second Lieutenant, June 7th, 1865, vice Second 
Lieutenant Augustus II. Fischer, killed at Atlanta, August 
13th, 1864. 

On the 9th of September, the news of the death of that 
famous guerrilla chief, John Morgan, was reported in camp, 
which proved to be a true report, notwithstanding many 
" grape-vine " dispatches were being received among the boys 
during the resting spell of the army at Atlanta and vicinity. 
The same day a report that the guerrilla Wheeler had cut the 
railroad communications of the army between Atlanta and 
Chattanooga also proved true, but the only ill effects experi- 
enced was the temporary stoppage of the army mails, which 
severed the sympathetic lines between the boys in camp and 
friends at home. 


A report of casualties pertaining to the 105th was made 
out on the 10th of September, embracing the names of officers 
and men killed, wounded and missing during the Atlanta 
campaign, showing the following numbers : Commissioned 
officers killed, two ; wounded, thirteen ; enlisted men killed, 
forty-one ; wounded, one hundred and three ; missing, t wo ; 
total casualties, officers and men, one hundred and sixty-one. 

The number of officers and men, embracing the Avhole 
belonging to the regiment, present and absent, on the 30th of 
April, 18(54, amounted to six hundred and seventy-four ; on 
the 10th of September, five hundred and eighty-seven. On 
the former date that number was situated as follows : Present, 
officers and men, for duty, four hundred and forty-six ; on 
special or daily duty, seventy-two ; sick, twenty-seven — five 
hundred and forty-five. Absent, on detailed service, eighty- 
six ; with leave, seven ; sick, etc., thirty-three ; without 
authority, three — one hundred and twenty-nine ; present 
and absent, six hundred and seventy-four. On the latter date, 
September 10th, there were, officers and men : present, for 
duty, two hundred and sixty-three ; on special or daily duty, 
forty-two ; sick, thirty-two — three hundred and thirty-seven. 
Absent, on detached service ninety-six ; with leave, twelve ; 
sick, one hundred and forty-two — 250;present ; and absent, 
five hundred and eighty-seven. 

The effective force of the regiment on the 30th of April, 
1804, or just before the opening of the campaign, embracing 
commissioned officers and enlisted men, was four hundred and 
forty-six. On the 10th of September, or just after the close 
of the campaign, two hundred and sixty-three. 

The 1st of October, the First brigade returned from garrison 
duty at Atlanta and took up position on the 4th, near the 
railroad bridge on the south side of the river. Just now the 
main army was on the lookout for General Hood's forces, who 
seemed disposed to punish General Sherman by making a 
formidable raid on the railroad in his rear. Cannonading 
was heard on the 2d, in the direction of Sandtown, south of 


the railroad bridge, and there was considerable activity 
manifest among the troops. The two long wagon and railroad 
bridges were partially undermined and carried away by high 
water, when pontoons were immediately thrown across the 
river, over which General Howard's command crossed on the 
4th, passing the camp of the 105th on their way for the raiders. 
Five companies, comprising the left wing of the 105th, were 
stationed in a strong earth fort opposite the camp on the 0th, 
and heavy details made for work on the fortifications. Two 
guns were placed in this fort and two in a fort near the camp. 
After a few days of hard toil, during which the boys completed 
the work on the forts and surrounded them with heavy abatis, 
the men announced themselves readyfor the " Johnnie Hoods." 
]>ut beyond the occasional dashes of marauding parties at 
different points on the roadnear this section, nothing transpired 
to disturb the quiet of the brigade. 

During the passsage of General Howard's troops, General 
Sherman and a portion of his staff", who were accompanying 
them, dined at regimental headquarters by invitation of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Dutton. The General was then, to the 
casual observer, an ordinary-appearing man, of medium height, 
slender, unstately and wiry. He seemed absorbed and nervous. 
Stepping up to the tent door, without ceremony, he remarked 
inquiringly, " Is this the place ?" and in he strode, taking a 
seat at the table. In military campaigning he was entirely 
unassuming in his manners, but eminently practical, and 
seemingly oblivious to everything save the work of the time. 
As an operator in the field this plain man is one of consummate 
skill. Atlanta is a fitting commentary on his genius. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Dutton received leave of absence on the 
28th of September, and started for his home at Sycamore on 
the 9th of October, Major Brown succeeding to the command 
of the regiment. Several officers receiving leave of absence 
were detained at camp until the railroad bridge was repaired, 
admitting the passage of upward-bound trains from Atlanta. 

Captain C. G. Culver, Company C, and First Lieutenant 


Mclvin Smith, Company F, with a detachment of men, on the 
3d, acting under imperative orders, destroyed a bridge over 
a creek at an important point several miles down the river, 
remaining there on the lookout for guerrillas two days. Scout- 
ing and foraging parties were sent out frequently from the 
brigade. An Orderly on duty at brigade head-quarters was 
killed bv a guerrilla while bearing a dispatch to Atlanta, on 
the 11th. 

The danger to this position contingent on the movements of 
Hood's forces being passed, the left wing of the regiment was 
moved back from the fort to the main camp, on the 17th. On 
the 19th, a train of cars was partially burned by guerrillas, on 
the road between Marietta and Chattahoochee river. 

The regiment received eight months pay on the 19th. 

A train on its way to Atlanta was molested by guerrillas on 
the 20th, producing quite a panic among a number of unarmed 
men, some striking for the woods and running several miles 
back to the camp. This was a little rebel victory. 

The regiment received an elegant new stand of colors on the 

Major Brown was sent into the country on the 24th in 
charge of a foraging party of some five hundred and fifty men 
and a long train of wagons. After three days absence he 
returned with men and train intact, having loaded his wagons 
with corn and provisions. On the second day out the party 
was attacked several times by guerrillas, and the Maj. narrowly 
escaped being shot. Among the articles secured by foragers 
in large quantities were, corn, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, 
which, taken with "hardtack" and coffee, was deemed a 
healthful combination for the disters of the First brigade — the 
mules generally eating the corn ! 

On the 29th, the regiment received orders to send back all 
surplus baggage, preparatory to entering upon another active 
campaign. Several absentees arrived reporting for duty. 

Brigadier-General Ward arrived from the North, where he 
had been on leave of absence, and re-assumed command of the 


Third division on the 31st. Soon after his return, November 
9th, Colonel Dustin was placed in command of the Second 
brigade of the Third division, formerly commanded by Colonel 
John Coburn, of the 33d Indiana. This command Colonel 
Dustin retained until the close of the war. Colonel Dutton 
then took permanent command of the regiment. Since the 
battle of Atlanta, on the 20th of July, the Lieutenant Colonel 
rose still higher in the estimation of the men, and was deemed 
an officer fit to succeed the Colonel as regimental commander. 

Adjutant D. D. Chandler, of the 105th, was mentioned by 
Colonel Dustin, and also by General Ward, in connection 
with a position on their respective staffs. No officer was more 
assiduous in his duties, and none filled their offices with more 
credit than this officer. 

General Thomas' head-quarter train passed the camp of 
the 105th on the 31st, en route to Chattanooga. As General 
Hood's command had now struck out for Nashville, General 
Thomas moved to that point to receive him. 

On the 5th of November the regiment received marching 
orders and was prepared to move on short notice, but the 
orders were countermanded. Considerable speculation as to 
where General Sherman would go next, was indulged in by 
the troops, but all in vain. Such information was "contra- 
band of war." But every soldier knew the army was soon 
to enter upon a long and rapid march. Accustomed to march 
together and to "strike together," its future movements were 
destined to be executed expeditiously and successfully. 
Sherman's men had finally attained to that degree of bold- 
ness and endurance, in their education and experience as 
soldiers, as to be regarded by the rebels and the world quite 

The last train of cars passed up the road norttnvard on the 
15th, when the troops of the Fifteenth Corps tore up the 
track from Marietta to Chattahoochee river, the men of the 
105th assisting; in the work on the 15th. The railroad bridge 
was destroyed in the evening. On the 14th the regiment 


finally broke up camp and started at six o'clock for Atlanta, 
destroying the remainder of the track on the way. Regiment 
camped one mile beyond the city, ready to enter upon the 
grand march commenced by Sherman's expedition on the fol- 
lowing day. 

General Sherman's forces embraced the 14th, 17th and 20th 
Army Corps, making over 50,000 men, besides 0,000 picked 
cavalry under Kilpatrick. They were supplied with thirty 
days rations for man and beast. With a scout system and 
courier line complete, this combination swept across the State 
of Georgia with the force of a mighty whirlwind, destroying 
railroads, bridges, mills, cribs, gin houses, cotton screws, gins, 
&c, carrying off stock, provisions and negroes. The station 
houses along the railroads were burnt, and hundreds of unoccu- 
pied buildings of all kinds destroyed, together with large 
quantities of lumber, fences, cotton and every kind of prop- 
erty calculated for the comfort of rebels and the use of rebel 
armies. The country was rich, and provisions abounded. 
The troops subsisted on fresh pork, sweet potatoes, flour and 
meal, with all the concomitant luxuries ; among which may 
be mentioned turkeys, chickens, ducks, molasses, sugar, etc. 

The expedition being set in motion on the morning of the 
15th of November, the Twentieth Corps moved out with its 
long wagon train on the Decatur pike in the direction of that 
place. The first brigade fell into the column at noon. Being 
in the rear of the Corps and behind the train, the marching 
was during the day and night slow and tedious. About 
thirty-four hours of such marching brought the command to 
its first encampment, at a point on the Atlanta and Augusta 
R. R., called Lithonia, having crossed a branch of Ocmulgee 
river, near Decatur, and passed Stone Mountain. The rail- 
road was destroyed as the column advanced. 

Atlanta was left partially in flames. During the night of 
the 15th the consuming elements cast a glare of red to the 
heavens, grandly constrasting with the surrounding gloom. 
Thus, the horrors of the torch was added to the powers of 
the sword, and Atlanta brought to a fiery judgment. 


The march was resumed at early dawn on the 17th, the 
first brigade in advance of the column. Marching rapidly 
the brigade made some twenty miles, foraging off the country 
as it passed. Foragers brought to camp sweet potatoes in 
abundance, shotes, chickens and honey. Fine country; wat- 
ered by numerous streams. 

Moved fifteen miles on the 18th, arriving at the fair village 

of Social Circle, on the railroad, at noon. Passed through 

Rutledge Station before evening. Camped beyond at seven 

o'clock. The progress of the troops not yet impeded. Fair 

On the 19th, moved seven miles, the first brigade being in 
the rear. Passed through the large and beautiful town of 
Madison, on the R. R., the county seat of Morgan county. 
Camped several miles beyond on the Milledgeville pike. Great 
activity among the foragers and " bummers." At Madison 
the soldiers were received with joy by the blacks. The Avhitcs 
looked on in silence. The regiment entered the town with 
ilag unfurled. The word among the negroes, old and young, 
as the column was passing through the streets, was, " Is you 
gwine?" One answer, as overheard by a number of the 
105th, was, "Gwine? I'se already gone!" Indeed many 
followed the army from this point, men, women, children and 
babies. The women carried their bundles on their heads, 
their children on their backs and in their arms — as, for in- 
stance, a wench following the 105th with a huge bundle of 
clothes and traps on her head, arms full of babies and one 
child on her back ! She wanted to see good old " Mass 
Linkum." They advised her to return to her old haunts, but 
the spirit of resolution said " nay." Evidently, her life was 
set upon a cast, and she would stand the hazard of the die. 
What became of the poor soul is not known. 

On the 20th, marched at five o'clock, morning. Weather 
cloudy and damp — considerable rain last night. Distance 
marched about twelve miles. Camped within two miles of 
Eatonton, a pleasant looking town of about 1,800 inhabitants. 
Fine country. 


The weather very wet and disagreeable on the 21st. Troops 
marched under heavy and steady rain part of the day, literally 
wading single file, through mud. Passed through Eatonton, 
from which place a railroad called the Eatonton branch runs 
down through Milledgcville, connecting at Number Seventeen 
with the Georgia Central Railroad, passed through a small 
place called Fairfield, on the railroad. Camped at dusk. 
Marched rapidly on Milledgeville. Entered the place in good 
order at 4 P. M., with colors flying and bands playing. The 
colored population received the troops with great satisfaction 
as usual. Camped in the city limits. 

Remained in camp at this point on the 23d. In the evening 
the regiment was detailed to assist in destroying rebel property. 
Several thousand stands of arms, and a large amount of 
ammunition, was committed to the flames. Also, twenty casks 
of salt thrown into the river. 

Resumed the march at dawn on the 24th, crossing the 
Oconee river north-east of town. On the road all day and 
night, the teams being delayed by bad roads. Camped at 
three o'clock A. M. 

On the 25th, moved only five miles, starting at noon, the 
brigade in the rear. The rebels burned a number of bridges 
over swampy ground and streams, the column being delayed 
until the road was repaired. Heard cannonading in the di- 
rection of the other columns. Column passing through swampy 
country ; enemy seeking to retard the progress of the troops. 

Passed over regular Georgia swamps on the 26th ; march- 
ing rapidly after noon, arrived at Sanderville, a small, dull 
place, at about 4 P. M. 105th camped close to the town ; 
Wheeler's cavalry hovering about in front. Skirmishing for 
two days — several killed. Sandersvillc is near the Georgia 
Central Railroad, in Hancock county. The business portion 
of the town was sacked, of course ; the troops of the column 
in turn helping themselves to whatever they wanted from the 
stores. In some of the towns goods had been [removed in 
order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Yan- 


kees. In Madison the stores were found empty and deserted. 

Left Sandersville at 8 o'clock, on the 27th, marching rapid- 
ly to the railroad, which the column crossed, moving some 
distance on the wrong road. General Slocum righted the 
column, after parading up and down the road several times 
in a swearing mood. Arrived at Davisboro, on the railroad, 
at sundown, regiment camping in a peanut patch. I J ere the 
boys met troops of one of the other corps. Everybody seemed 
to be in ccstacies. The foragers, sent out daily from the regi- 
ment, were gathering in the very fat of the land. The "bum- 
mers," who roamed unrestrained over the country, were filling 
their pockets with treasures, and dressing themselves up in 
broadcloth clothes. In short, the boys felt "bully." They 
acted on the hypothesis that " all is fair in love and war." 

Citizens in the country were in the habit of secreting goods, 
and burying valuables, to keep them from the raiders, but the 
" Yankees " espied them out. Most everything was overturned 
in smoke-houses and kitchens, during the search for edibles ; 
the foragers for the yards and kitchens, and the "bummers'' 
for the parlors, bed-rooms and bureau-drawers. Let the 
reader imagine a house full of forage and pleasure-seekers, 
actively manipulating the effects of the premises, and some 
idea of a raid in war times may be gained. This is the una- 
voidable, natural consequence of war. "Those who take up 
the sword must perish by the sword." 

On the 28th, left Davisboro at 11 o'clock, making a rapid 
march toward Louisville, a point twelve miles north-cast of 
Davisboro. Arrived within seven miles of the town and 
camped early in the afternoon. The early halt at this point 
was occasioned by the burning of bridges over swamps and 
across a branch of the Ogeechee river, near Louisville. 

During the day Captain 0. G. Culver, Company C, in 

charge of a foraging party from the regiment, carried the war 

to ex-Governor Herchel Van Johnson's residence, divesting 

his cupboard of many goodly meats. The "bummers" took 

his damask curtains. 


The road having been repaired, the column moved forward 
on the 29th, the first brigade starting at one o'clock, after- 
noon. The 105th and a part of the 102d Illinois were thrown 
forward a mile on the double-quick to protect the pontoon 
train, reported to have been attacked by guerrillas. On 
arriving near the w r agons they were found safe, the enemy 
having been easily dispersed. Crossed river branch, passed 
through Louisville, and camped at dusk three miles beyond 
the town. 

Remained in camp on the 30th, the bad state of the roads 
in the swamps evidently being the cause of the delay. For- 
agers were sent out from the regiment, coming in close prox- 
imity with guerrillas ; but enough forage was gathered before 
the party returned to camp. 

On the 1st December, resumed the march at ten A. M., 
moving in single file by the train, the swampy country not 
admitting the passage of troops and the train together in many 
places. The work of getting the trains over the roads was 
accomplished with difficulties. Arrived in camp at nine P. M. ; 
distance about seven miles. 

The o;uerrillas attacked the mounted men of the first bri- 
gate, and after a brisk skirmish fight, the latter fell back to 
the column, losing several men. 

November 2d, a clear sky and balmy atmosphere — charac- 
teristic of fall weather of old Georgia ! The command 
marches off, full of inspiration of good weather, starting at 
eleven A. M., and turning into camp at eleven P. M., tired 
and hungry. Distance 14 miles. 

On the 3d, proceeding a few miles through swamps, the 
column emerged into a beautiful pine forest, near the line of 
the Savannah and Augusta Railroad. Here the first brigade 
left the column, and, after a rapid march of four miles north- 
ward, struck the railroad at a point forty-five miles from Au- 
gusta and thirteen miles from Millen Junction. After des- 
troying several miles of railroad track, and a large quantity 
of lumber, moved down the track, and re-joined the column. 


Arrived in camp about one A. M., after a tedious night march 
through muddy swamps, woods, rain and pitch-darkness. 

On the 4th, marched ten miles, passing through several 
swamps and pine forests. Country well supplied with good 
water. Cannonading heard in the direction of Millen Junc- 

The whole country over which the army passed, seemed to 
be disfigured by fire — houses, fences, woods and grass burning 
in all directions. Immediately along the line of the marching 
column the fences were consumed by the fiery element, and 
during the long night marches, on either side, the roads were 
arrayed with lights. Frequently the tired trampers were 
deceived by the fires; calculating that they were drawing- 
near where the advance had already gone into camp. But 
usually a long series of lights intervened ere the object of de- 
sire was reached. 

( )n the 5th, moved about eight miles, passing the first divi- 
sion encamped. Turned in at three P. M, here to await 
the arrival of General Geary's command. The advance 
skirmished with the enemy, pressing him right along. Passed 
more swamps. Twelve miles to nearest point of Savannah 

Moved forward to within nine miles northwest of Spring- 
field, on the Cth, and camped at sundown. The road obstructed 
by felled trees, but quickly removed or evaded. 

Captain Culver, in charge of a small party, captured a 
smart looking rebel second-lieutenant. 

On the 7th, pushed rapidly on, the first brigade in advance 
of the corps. Moved five miles, when the head of the column 
paused on the borders of a huge swamp, the road here being 
blockaded by trees. Before the pioneers cleared and repaired 
the road, the brigade passed over. Stripped of all encum- 
brances the command moved briskly forward, four miles, and 
occupied Springfield without opposition. Here turned in and 
awaited the arrival of the column. 

Springfield is the county seat of Effingham county, proba- 


bly twenty-five miles from Savannah ; a small, dingy-looking 
place among the swamps. The citizens — mainly women — had 
buried many valuables in the yards, but the soldiers exhumed 
them. Fine dishes, silver spoons, articles of clothing, and 
other things too numerous to mention, were carried off by the 
boys. One man dressed himself up as a lady — his toilet 
rather rudely "performed." 

A member of the 10f)th entered a doctor's office in quest of 
some improved liquors, of which he was passionately fond. 
Tie unwittingly seized upon a bottle marked u Vinum Anti- 
monia" (wine of antimony, an emetic), taking it for a supe- 
rior quality of wine. In the ardor of self-congratulation at 
his success, he immediately partook of the precious fluid. 
But alas, for the infelicitous effects of vinum antimony — as a 
beverage — upon the human organism, ere many moments 
" Jonah" was heaved out on dry land. 

Remained in camp throughout the day on the 8th. Dur- 
ing this pause the foragers and "bummers " had an interest- 
ing time looking over the country and overhauling " other 
folks' things." Several miles away, a dwelling, well stocked 
with household effects, among which was a piano-forte and 
a large collection of books, became the scene of spoliation. 
The foragers from the 105th found it deserted by its occu- 
pants, and full of men ransacking the rooms, drawers, and 
scattering the books and pictures about the floors, and even 
in the yard. This is what war brings alike to the innocent 
and the guilty. 

At sundown the regiment and brigade fell into the rear of 
the column, and, amid the glare of burning buildings, moved 
slowly out of town. After a wearisome, jogging march all 
night and after broad day-light, paused fifteen minutes for 
breakfast. Cannonading heard in the night in the direction 
of the river. 

On the 9th the column was on the road, moving along all 
day and until late in the night ; no sleep for forty hours. The 
advance of the corps captured two small earthworks, located 


several miles north of the railroad. Works defended by four 
hundred men, with three pieces of artillery. 

The first brigade in advance on the 10th, the 105th at the 
head of the brigade. Marched up to within four and a half 
miles of Savannah, meeting the enemy's pickets before the 
defences around the city. The brigade was immediately 
deployed in the line on the right of the main pike and near 
the Savannah and Charleston Railroad, the 105th holding a 
position on the right of the line in the brigade. There was 
some fighting on the right by the troops of the seventeenth 

The march was concluded on the 26th day out from Atlanta. 
The siege of Savannah commenced, lasting ten days. 

On the 11th and 12th the regiment shifted its position 
twice during the establishment of the lines. 

The Second Division, Fifteenth Corps, charged and cap- 
tured Fort McAllister, with all its men and armament, on the 
18th, thus opening a base at the mouth of the Ogeechee river, 
in Ossabaw Sound. Official notice of the capture, and con- 
sequent opening of communication with the national fleet, 
was received along the lines on the 15th. 

On the 16th and 17th the regiment threw up a heavy line 
of works, and on the night of the 20th a line was thrown up 
on the skirmish line. On the night of the 18th Captain J. S. 
Forsythe, Company II, in charge of ten men, was sent out 
on a reconnoissance to ascertain the position of the enemy in 
front of the brigade. He proceeded to within twenty yards 
of the enemy's lines, encountering a deep swamp. He ob- 
served their fires and heard them talk ; after drawing their 
fire, he returned with his party, having accomplished all that 
was desired. 

No casualties occurred in the 105th while laying before the 
city. The enemy kept their guns at work, and occasionally 
a shell would burst over the camp, the missiles scattering 
among the boys ; but no one was hurt. 

During the march several men were missing. Captain Geo. 


A. Bender, Company I, was wounded in the back and ankle 
severely, while working on the railroad between Chattahoo- 
chee river and Atlanta, on the 15th of November. 

While before the city the army subsisted on rice and stale 
fresh beef — a rather slim diet. The former was taken from 
mills in large quantities and hulled by the soldiers. 

As the army was about to make a general assault upon the 
defenses, the enemy evacuated the city, and in the words of 
the editor of the daily (Savannah) Republican, it was surren- 
dered to "a magnanimous foe." The army entered the citv 
on the 21st inst. 

A large amount of cotton, hundreds of guns, and other 
property, fell into the hands of the national authorities with 
the fall of Savannah. 

The troops, in ecstacics over the victorious culmination of 
the campaign, left their entrenchments early Wednesday even- 
ing, the 21st, and marched forward to behold their capture — 
Savannah ! 

The first brigade was assigned to a pleasant camping ground 
in the western suburbs of the city, on the 21st, and there the 
105th rested until the beginning of the campaign of the 

The spirit of speculation was rife during the first days of 
the occupation by the national troops. Soldiers from all reg- 
iments were to be seen on the sidewalks, and even in the 
middle of the streets, trafficking in tobacco and other articles 
which had been easily obtained in the confusion incident to 
the transfer of the city to national authority. Greenbacks 
rose suddenly in Savannah. Fair damsels sat at their windows, 
with sweet corn bread and biscuits, for greenbacks, and little 
rebel boys paraded the streets with cigars, for greenbacks. 
The greenback fever was communicated to the various camps, 
and the soldiers — especially the "bummers" — fell to playing 
"chuckaluck" for greenbacks. In a few days a general order 
had to be issued restraining the excessive indulgence in 
"chuckaluck," etc. 


Confederate currency went down immediately, and the 

citizens of Savannah sold their share of it at a great discount, 
for greenbacks, to those who desired to purchase for relics or 
novelty. Some parted with it reluctantly, evidently still be- 
ing fondly joined to their idols. 

At the close of the campaign, Major Brown, who had 
commanded the regiment, complimented the officers and men 
for their good conduct throughout; their rapid and steady 
marching ; their willingness to facilitate the passage of the 
teams over the roads, and for the alacrity with which they 
responded to all details. 

On the 26th of December, orders were received to prepare 
for another campaign. A little curious to know which point 
they were to " go for" next, the officers and men set about 
the work of preparation promptly. They easily pursuaded 
themselves that the rebellious soil of South Carolina would 
be their next field of operations ; and they were elated with 
the idea of punishing that constitutionally hot-tempered 

The first brigade was reviewed on the 29th of December 
by Colonel Smith, of the 102d Illinois, commanding tempo- 
rarily. The Twentieth Corps was reviewed by General Sher- 
man on the 30th, in the streets of Savannah. 

On the morning of the 31st the third division left camp, 
crossed the river to Hutchinson Island, opposite the city, and 
immediately proceeded to the channel, about a mile distant, 
next to the South Caralina side. The weather was unfavor- 
able — the low ground and muddy roads rendering it imprac- 
ticable to proceed with the work of pontooning, the channel 
being broad and the waters boisterous. The second and third 
brigades were ordered back to town to remain until operations 
for crossing could be resumed as soon as the weather would 
admit. The first brigade remained on the island. A few 
shots were exchanged with Wheeler's men, who were on the 
other side. A man in Company A, Corporal Spaiford R. 
Deford, was mortally wounded and died the next day. This 


was the first fatal thrust from South Carolina. A gun was 
planted, and a few shells sent over, when the boys had the 
satisfaction of witnessing a stampede of rebel cavalry. 

The entrance of the new year, 1865, into the annals of 
time, and the entrance of the first brigade into the State of 
South Carolina, came together. January 1st, the brigade 
crossed from Hutchinson Island to the South Carolina side, 
in small boats and barges ; proceeded some five or six miles 
into the country, and camped at a fine but deserted place of 
a Dr. Cheever, formly a. wealthy South Carolinan. The doctor 
(now deceased) had realized as high as $700,000 annually on 
his rice plantation through which the brigade marched. The 
mansion is a very large two-story gothic, and elaborately fin- 
ished. Many of the plants and shrubs remain — fitting re- 
minders of former elegance and refinement. Brigade head- 
quarters were situated here. Major Brown, commanding the 
105th, used the overseer's house for regimental headquarters 
— a building of no mean pretensions, even for an overseer. 
All the other buildings were pulled down for wood. 

While encamped near Cheever's farm, the good Chaplain 
of the 105th, Daniel Chapman, resigned, January 8th, and 
left for his home. On the 10th the regiment shifted its position 
in order to enjoy better grounds and more room than was 
possible in the old fortifications. On the night of the 16th, a 
wagon-load of shell oysters, fresh from the coast, was issued to 
the regiment. On the 17th the division moved on and occupied 
Hardeeville, a point twenty milles from Savannah, on the, 
Charleston and Savannah Railroad. While here the troops 
were treated to four days incessant rain. On the 20th the 
camp of the 105th was so nearly inundated that it became 
necessary to move it. At this place the regiment received 
one hundred and forty-three neAV Springfield guns with 
accoutrements, which were distributed among all the companies. 

Captain Martin V. Allen Company E, was honorably dis- 
charged, January 20th 1865, on account of Avounds received 
before Atlanta. 


Lieutenant Colonel Dutton, Surgeon Waterman and 
Lieutenant John Ellis, Company K, arrived on the 22d from 
the North, where they had been on leave. The Lieutenant 
Colonel brought through two large boxes and several valises 
of articles from the friends of the regiment, which were received 
with great satisfaction ; much credit being due that officer for 
their safe arrival to these apparently godless regions. 

At Ilardeeville, Lieutenant Colonel Dutton relieved Major 
Brown. In this new and dangerous march the fine military 
abilities of the Lieutenant Colonel were particularly desirable, 
and his characteristic dash, coupled with the coolness and 
fidelity of the Major, was worthy of the good cause for which 
it was being exercised. 

The last drill of the First brigade came oif on the 25th of 
January, w T hile at Hardeeville. Here the boys of the various 
regiments joined in the work of burning more buildings. A 
ehurch edifice was destroyed by fire. 

On the 29th, the troops moved for Robertsville, the Third 
division in rear of the First. Marched rapidly about fifteen 
miles, camping at sundown. On the 30th a five-mile march 
brought the command to Robertsville, Avhere it turned into 
camp at noon. 

Finally, from Robertsville, the grand movement commenced 
in earnest. After remaining at that place two days, the 
Twentieth Corps "launched out" further into the native 
regions of" Secessia," on the morning of February 2, 1865. 
In the order of march the Army of the Tennessee, Fifteenth 
and Seventeenth Corps, were on the right, the Army of Georgia, 
Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, on the left, and the Cavalry 
Corps still further to the left. The Corps moved on roads 
parallel with each other, in five columns. 

The troops set out with the feeling that, inasmuch as more 
campaigning and raiding was necessary to close up the rebel- 
lion, they were rejoiced to know that South Carolina was to 
be the field of operations, and they resolved that she should 
be pretty thoroughly overhauled, and that rebellion should 


soon " play out " all around. The "bummers" especially, 
resolved themselves into a " committee of the whole on the 
State of South Carolina," and determined to " go it on their 
own hook," as they did through Georgia — only more so. 

On the morning of the 2d, the Twentieth Corps moved 
forward, the 105th regiment in advance of the column. The 
regiment soon run against rebels. At two o'clock afternoon, 
as the column was approaching the smalltown of Lawtonville, 
the advanced two companies was suddenly fired into by a strong 
force of Wheeler's cavalry. Immediately two more companies 
of the 105th were deployed as skirmishers and advanced, but 
the enemy being found strongly posted behind barricades and 
a line of thick woods bordering a marshy creek, the entire 
regiment, together with two companies from the 12i)th Illinois, 
on its left, was deployed and Lieutenant Colonel Dutton in 
charge, ordered to advance. With the other regiments of the 
brigade in supporting distance, the skirmishers deliberately 
advanced across the open fields on either side of the road, 
under a heavy fire, driving the enemy out of his works to the 
suburbs of the town. The skirmishers kept up a sharp fire at 
the rebels as they advanced, and by a slight wheel to the right 
and another advance on the run, through the swamp and 
timber, in which was a dense growth of underbrush and running 
vines, the enemy's position was flanked and the rebels driven 
through, and a mile beyond the town. Some artillery was 
used with good effect. 

This fight was almost wholly made by the 105th. The 
advance was conducted with order and decision, and of course 
with success. The regiment and the two additional companies 
deployed, made a line about one-fourth mile in length, 
which as it coolly moved forward, firing, presented the appear- 
ance of men Koine; through the evolutions of skirmish drill. 
There were eicrht casualties in the regiment, and six men had 
their clothes pierced with bullets. Colonel Dutton and 
Lieutenant Melvin Smith, commanding Company F, were 
among the lucky ones who were simply wounded in the clothes. 


Several of the enemy's dead were left in the hands of the 
regiment or brigade, and it was ascertained that several more, 
with their wounded, were carried off by them. 

It was afterwards learned that the whole of Wheeler's rebel 
cavalry, three or four thousand, were posted at Lawtonville, 
and that they were determined to stoutly resist the passage of 
our troops at the swamp near the town. The enemy retreated 
during the night, while the First brigade camped on the famous 
little battle-field of Lawtonville. 

The march was resumed in the morning at 10 o'clock, the 
regiment in the rear of column. Beyond the town a large 
and elegant dwelling was passed. The house was splendidly 
furnished with rich carpets, a library of books, piano, forte, 
and furniture of the number one kind. The grounds were 
laid out tastefully and highly ornamented with various kinds 
of shrubbery. This was the property of a rebel officer, and 
had been the headquarters of the rebel General Wheeler. Ere 
the rear of the column had arrived it was discovered that the 
house was on fire. It seems it had been fired in accordance 
with orders given by proper authority. 

The column proceeded on the Barnwell road, nine miles, 
and camped at Crossroads. 

On the 4th moved ten miles. Good weather, country 
higher ; well supplied with water. Forage in abundance. 
The foragers and "bummers" in high spirits. All the country 
for a space of about sixty miles being overrun by the army 
as it sweeps on. The boys bring into camp at night, bacon, 
sweet potatoes — or " yams" — chicken, fresh pork, molasses, 
butter, and many other eatables. The " bummers" help 
themselves to any kind of valuables within reach, people 
burying their jewelry, watches, money, etc. 

Sunday, 5th February. — Weather delightfully clear and 
mild. The first brigade moved out in advance of division, 
guarding wagon train. Proceeded ten miles, camping near 
fifteenth corps. Better country. 

On the 6th, weather cloudy and raining. Moved out late 


in the morning. Crossed Combahee river, passing through 
rebel fortifications, from whence the fifteenth corps had driven 
the rebels. 

Private Jenkins, of Company I, with a comrade from an- 
other regiment, while foraging, moved ahead of the column, 
and at sundown found themselves very near the camp of 
the rebel General Wheeler. Having been unsuccessful forag- 
ing, they determined not to return to camp without some 
trophy. A rebel Lieutenant and Sergeant having rode out 
of their camp, came near the boys, who demanded their sur- 
render. With' reluctance 1 they complied, were made to dis- 
mount and deliver up their revolvers and sabres. Jenkins 
and his comrads mounted their horses, requiring the "John- 
nies" to walk into the "Yankee" camp, which they did in 
" good order." This was a " feather in Jenkins' cap." 

On the 8th the command reached the Charleston and 
Augusta railroad near Grahams, captured two prisoners and 
destroyed the track, heating many of the rails red hot and 
winding them around the trees. 

On moved our boys, weary but triumphant, through vary- 
ing weather, cold, stormy and sleety on one day, mild and 
charming with the beauties of a southern spring on the 
next. We passed through Williston February 11th, forded 
the icy cold South Edisto river on the 12th, near which 
Lieutenant John Ellis of Company C, while in charge of a 
foraging party captured three rebel soldiers. The 14th and 
15th the rain froze as it fell, making most uncomfortable 
marching and wretched camping. The brigade also met with 
some resistance from the retreating enemy. We camped in 
sight of Columbia, the capitolof South Carolina, on the 10th, 
and after some cannonading and skirmishing, passed the city 
on the 17th, the army burning a portion of it. 

The whole surface of the country seemed on fire and the 
smoke was dense enough to be uncomfortable. Crossed the 
Saluda river on a pontoon bridge on the 18th, and were 
stationed* as a guard to protect the pontooneers until the 


bridge was removed. By this time our bummers were elegantly 
arrayed in broadcloths and satin, and marched in carriages 
more or less elegant, drawn by confiscated steeds. Happy 
bummers ! Scouring the country in advance of and around 
the army they formed a protective force of real service in 
furnishing information and preventing attack. Reached 
Broad river on Sunday, the 19th; and here orders were receiv- 
ed to prepare for a continuation of the campaign for forty 
days. All unnecessary baggage must be thrown aside, and 
even the wall tents abandoned. Reluctantly the boys unbur- 
dened their wagons, loaded with captured valuables, and the 
wagons subsequently carried only army supplies. 

The troops had now worn out their shoes, and many were 
hatless, ragged, barefoot and dirty too, for the soap had 
become exhausted. "Forty days more," and "what will Old 
Billy do when the soles of our feet give out too':"' was the 
question, but they soon recovered from their dissatisfaction 
and moved on jolly and contented. We guarded the pon- 
tooneers at Broad river ; and marehed all of the night of the 
20th, arriving at Winnsboro, where we passed in review before 
Generals Sherman and Slocum. The 105th led the advance 
on the 22d, encountering Butters rebel cavalry and driving 
them. Private Fisher, of Company B, here captured a pris- 
oner with two horses and equipments. General Sherman was 
at our division headquarters to-day, and while there received 
news of the capture of Charleston. Crossed the Wateree 
river at midnight and were thoroughly drenched with a shower. 

On the 24th we passed over a wretched corduroy road, 
which had been built by our pioneers from small pines that 
worked the mud beneath into a batter which gushed up in 
fountains as our mules drew the heavy wagons over their 
rough surfaces. 

Right here let us give due credit to these faithful dumb 
brutes — unhonored heroes whose toils, lacerations and star- 
vations were so seldom thought of, yet whose services were 
as indispensable as our own, and whose bones lie bleaching on 


all of the battle fields of the South, together with those of 
our own comrades. 

On the 25th Captain Culver with his foraging party dashed 
into Lancaster, fifteen miles aside from our column — the first 
to enter that city. lie secured a large supply of dried fruit 
and other luxuries. We camped for a day at I tanging Rock 
waiting for the Fourteenth Corps to come up the river. This 
Rock was so named from the fact that the British here hung 
six American soldiers after one of the battles of the Revolution. 
Hard marching for the next week ; from ten to seventeen 
miles a day, much of it being done in the night. On the 4th 
of March we crossed into NorthCarolina, and rested on Sunday, 
at Colonel Allston's plantation, where we were delighted with 
the luxury of a supply of soft soap. On the Oth, reached a 
country devoted to the manufacture of tar and turpentine — a 
wilderness of lofty pines. Immense quantities of this material 
were set on fire, and huge columns of black smoke rising from 
the forests told that lava-like stream of tar or rosin were 
burning like the emissions of a volcano. On the 9th a heavy 
thunderstorm — a muddy stream forded and no fresh provisions, 
— for the first time since we left Robertsville, we lived on hard 
bread. On the 11th the 105th was detailed to work on the 
road, and several miles were corduroyed. In camp at Fay- 
etteville on the 12th, and from here we sent'letters home and 
were reviewed by General Sherman, passing through and 
camping a short distance out. On the 16th we fought the 
battle of Averysboro ; the day was stormy, the roads terribly 
muddy. We started early on our march, and before noon 
the troops encountered a large force of the enemy within a few 
miles of Averysboro, when at he engagement tookplace. The 
First brigade was deployed on the left of the forces engaged, 
the left wing of the 105th, under Captain Forsythe, being 
deployed as skirmishers in front of the brigade, while the right 
remained in column in rear of the left of the brigade. An 
advance was immediately made, under heavy skirmish fire, for 
about five hundred yards to the enemy's works, when a charge 


was ordered ; at the same time the right wing of the 105th, 
under Lieutenant Colonel Dutton, was ordered to the extreme 
left and forward to protect the Hank and strengthen the skir- 
mish line. It moved as directed with alacrity, and cut off 
from retreat and captured a twelve-pounder Napoleon gun, 
which the Colonel, with some of his gallant men, turned on 
the enemy, giving him half a dozen shots in his disordered and 
retreating ranks. The works were charged and carried in 
splendid style, when the line halted till other troops were 
brought to connect with the left, prior to another advance. 
When the brigade advanced again, the 105th moved in the 
second line, the whole line pressing up within one hundred 
and fifty yards of the enemy's main line of works, under a 
heavy fire of small arms and cannon. Here the regiment and 
brigade bivouacked during the remainder of the day and night, 
throwing up a line of works during a rainstorm. The battle 
on the right was successfully waged, and in the night the 
enemy retreated — well whipped. 

Lieutenant Colonel Dutton, assisted by Major Brown and 
Adjutant Chandler, was equal to every emergency. Captain 
Forsythe handled the skirmish line with admirable success, 
and the line officers and men displayed their usual courage 
and fidelity. Adjutant Chandler had the front of his hat torn 
by a bullet, narrowly escaping witli his life. 

The regiment lost six killed and sixteen wounded, according 
to Lieutenant Colonel Button's report. Among the former 
was the gallant Orderly, Linus Holcomb of Company A, 
Captain G. B. Heath, whose life gradually ebbed away after 
he was brought from the gory battle-field. 

Surgeon Waterman again had his hands full, in caring for 
the wounded. His skill was measured by the sad duties of 
the hour, and not found wanting. 

In a large dwelling in rear of the field where the brigade 
fought, a hospital was located, where the wounded were being 
dressed. There were numerous amputations — the yard being 
strewn with legs and arms ; and the dead and dying were 
lying around — a dreadful wreck of human forms. 


The casualties in the division numbered two hundred and 
fifty-six : First brigade eighty-three ; Second brigade, fifty ; 
Third brigade one hundred and twenty-three. The loss of 
the evening was heavy. The troops buried one hundred of 
the rebel killed. 

Before the battle a party of thirty foragers from the 105th, 
preceding the column, charged on one of the enemy's earth- 
works, driving him out and killing one man — a very creditable 

The regiment did their duty nobly, and in token of their 
gallantry at this point and in the Atlanta campaign, Colonel 
Button their commander, received from the President the 
appointment of Brigadier General by brevet, the appointment 
datin g from the date of the battle. 

On the 19th the battle of Bentonville occurred at which 
we were assigned position on the left. We threw up earth- 
works in double-quick time, but the attack was made on the 
night, and our line was not assaulted. The rebels were 
defeated with fearful slaughter. 

Resumed our march on the 22d and crossed the Neusc 
river on the next day. Here Ave met General Terry's eastern 
troops, whining because they had been without communication 
and no mail for a week. We consoled them by telling them 
we had been in the same condition fifty-one days. 

We arrived at Goldsboro on the 24th, and our long march 
for the time was ended. We had marched five hundred 
miles in fifty-five days, resting only six days ; had crossed 
twelve large rivers and numerous smaller streams. The 
foragers of our regiment had captured, on the march, twenty 
tons of meat, ten tons of flour, and sweet potatoes, with other 
luxuries, to an extent that cannot be estimated. All of the 
officers with their men by turns participated in the work of 

At Goldsboro the regiment was newly equipped, and that 
portion of "Sherman's greasers" as the eastern troops 
contemptuously called us, put on a better appearance. The 



lIllf.igiiLilluiEsriillhlllgC'n.l In.,,-,, 


"bummers" who were flush of funds having "cramped" 
watches, jewelry, and money during the raid, donned the best 
attire and patronized the sutlers' shops extensively. 

< hi the 29th, and again on the 5th of April, parties of our 
regiment were sent on foraging expeditions, taking forage 
from within two miles of the fortified lines of the enemy, but 
losing several men captured and one killed. 

On the 6th of April news was received of the capture of 
Richmond, and the joy of our boys may be more easily 
imagined than described. 

On the 10th we found another campaign begun. We moved 
to Smithfield, where the surrender of Lees army was 
announced. We were after Johnston's army, and on the 13th 
we reached Raleigh in the pursuit. Here reports were circu- 
lated of Johnston's surrender, and amid the joyful excitement 
came the heart-rending tidings of the assassination of President 

On the 22d the twentieth Corps were reviewed in Raleigh, 
and on the 14th it became known that Johnston had surren- 
dered his army upon terms that were not approved by the 
President, and that we were about to "go for" "Johnston's 
Johnnies " again. Next day we marched thirteen miles on 
the road to Holly Springs, but on the day following we 
remained in camp, as Grant and Sherman had gone forward 
to meet the rebel General and have a new conference. On 
the 24th we joyfully marched back to Raleigh, elated with the 
assurance that Grant's negotiations had been successful — that 
satisfactory terms of surrender had been made — and that the 
great war was substantially at an end. 

Now " On to Richmond." 

We marched gaily along, blessed with warm, bright beautiful 
weather, pleasantly greeted by the people on the route, full 
of gratification at the glorious termination of the war. 

We pass Williamsborough, cross the Roanoke into Virginia, 
cross again the Meherin and the Nottaway rivers, and on the 
9th of May rested a day, two miles from Richmond. On the 


11th we passed through Richmond ; well treated by the 
people. On the 12th crossed the Chickahominy swamp ; on 
the 14th, crossed the Little and North Anna rivers, and 
received orders to burn no more fences. The young daughters 
of the Old Dominion greeted us with Avaving handkerchiefs, 
and the colored people were everywhere jubilant. On the 
1.5th, we camped on the Chancellorsville battle ground where 
human bones and skulls lay bleaching in the sun. 

On the 17th Ave Avere near Manassas Junction, and on the 
18th passed through Fairfax Station, crossing the far-famed 
Bull Run, a broad shalloAv stream of pure Avater with a hard 
gravelly bottom. On the 10th camped three miles from 
Alexandria where we remained till on the 24th, avc took part 
in the grand military pageant at Washington. Here Major 
BroAvn, Captain Church, and Assistant Surgeon Beggs joined 
the regiment, having been absent on leave and detached 

The army of the Potomac was reviewed by the President 
and Cabinet on the 23d, and General Sherman's army on the 
24th, the streets lined with immense crowds of people Avho 
greeted us Avith constant cheers and waving handkerchiefs. 
The Washington papers especially, commended the drill of the 
105th, and the ladies favored us Avith a shower of boqucts. 
We camped four miles out of the city until the 6th, em- 
ploying our time in visiting Washington, and on the 7th of 
June, 1865, were mustered out of service. 

On the 8th Ave took cars for Chicago, arriving at Pittsburg 
about 2 A. M., Avhere Ave Avere met by a brass band and a 
committee of citizens, escorted to the City Hall and entertained 
Avith ample refreshments. Generous, thoughtful Pittsburg ; 
long will you be remembered for your kindness to the war 
worn and Aveary. What a contrast Ave met in Chicago. We 
arrived at the same hour. It was dark and raining ; no one 
met us or could tell where Ave Avere to go. The officers Avere 
in a train behind, and Sergeant-Major Whitlock, Avho found 
himself the ranking officer, could not find a place to put his 


men. They could not be admitted to the Soldiers' Home, to 
the Barracks, nor anywhere. The officers soon arrived and 
found that no notice had been taken of their telegram advising 
the coming of the regiment. The boys "adjourned" to the 
Illinois Central Depot where a friendly policeman suffered 
them to lie on the floor 'till morning. Then we started for 
the dirty barracks, to which we were finally ordered, at Camp 
Fry. As we marched through the same streets through which 
three vears before we had y;one out one thousand strong — our 
regiment now reduced to hardly half that number, was ordered 
off the side-walk into the streets by the police. The policemen 
were pushed aside with hearty soldierly denunciations of all 
policemen and Chicago generally. 

At Camp Fry we were detained by Paymaster Maybourn 
until June 17th, when as each company Avas paid it left the 
barracks immediately. 

The warm welcome which we all received as we reached 
our homes did much to remove the unfavorable impression 
produced by the shameful treatment that we met in Chicago. 


One Hundred and Fifth Infantry Regiment. 




David D. Chandler, De Kalb, Promoted Adjutant. 

Jonathan G. Vallette, Milton, Discharged July B, 18(14, to accept commis- 
sion in Vol. Service. 
Ogden Whittack, Milton, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 


George W. Burpee, Rockford. 

Henry W. Kellogg, Maytield, Mustered out June 7, 1805. 


Clinton Beach, Winfield, Promoted 1st Lieut, and Q. M., in U. S. Colored 


George W. Beggs, Naperville, Promoted Assistant Surgeon. 
Simon Dockstader, Sycamore, Discharged April 8, I860. 
John B. Belt'arge, De Kalb, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 


Moull Fuller, Du Page county, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 
Walter Van Vetzger, Du Page county, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 


William R. Thomas, Sycamore, Promoted 2d Lieutenant. 


Linns Holcomb. Sycamore, 1st Serg't. Died March 16, 1865; wounds 
Alonzo E. Carr, Genoa, Transferred July 25, 186L 
Henry H. Slater, Geneva, Promoted 1st Lieutenant. 

Chauncey E. Sixbury, Sycamore, M. 0. June 7, 1865, as 1st Serg't. Com. 
2d Lieut., but not mustered. 


Menzo W. Garnet, Sycamore, Captured March 11. 1865. 
Henry W. Kellogg, Mayfield, Promoted Q. M. Sergeant. 
Wentworth Leveright, Maytield, Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Private. 
Hewitt C. Green, Genoa, Discharged May 10, 1865, as Serg't ; wounds. 
Simon Dockstader, Sycamore, Promoted Hospital Steward. 
Oscar C. Churchill, De Kalb county, Discharged April 25, 1865. 
Jared J. Burdict, He Kalb county, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 
Heuben J. Holcomb, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Serg't. 



Allen Benjamin, Geneva, Discharged July 10, 18G3 : disability. 

Allavd William A., Sycamore, Died at Dallas, Ga., May 29, 1804; wounds. 

Buck William, De Kalb, Discharged Feb. 16, 1863 ; disability. 

Black Miriuni, Pampas, Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Corporal. 

Bowers Hiram W., Batavia, Mustered out June 7, 1*65, as Corporal. 

Bailey John S., Genoa, Died Oct. 2. 1862 ; wounds. 

Burroughs James H., Genoa, Died, New Albany. 1 ml., Dec. 24, 1862. 

Church Samuel, Genoa, Mustered out June 7, 1865 ; was pris. 

Carr Patrick, Sycamore, Discharged Jan. 19, I860 ; disability. 

Cheesbro Oliver B., Pampas, Discharged May 5, 18(15 : wounds. 

Can- Edwin, Mayfield, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Cummins Warren, ■ Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Canady David N., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Culver Jefferson II., Pampas, Discharged Jan. 19, 1863 ; disability. 

Deford Spafford R., Pampas, Died Jan. 1, 18(15 : wounds, 

Donaghue Patrick, Kingston, Mustered out June 21, 1 8G-"i. 

Dennis George W., Jr., Mayfield, Discharged May 1, 1863; disability. 

Easha Joseph, Kingston, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Goble Elias, Mayfield, Died, South Tunnel, T., Dec. 21, 1862. 

Goble John J., Mayfield, Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Serg't. 

Goble William H., Mayfield, Mustered out June 7, I860. 

Gregory Cozier, Genoa, Discharged Feb. 22, 1863 ; disability. 

Harsha Eugene K., Pampas, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Hutchinson Nicholas A., Genoa, Discharged Sept. 30; wounds. 

Hathaway Harrison, Pampas, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Howe George E., Mayfield, Died, Chattanooga, Aug. 15, IKfll ; wounds. 

Hendrick Nelson F., De Kalb, Mustered out June 14. 1865. 

Hollenback Alfred S., Genoa. Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Holcomb Oscar, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Jellison Alexander M., Genoa, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Jones Charles L., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Johnson Chauncey, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 18(15. 

Kellogg Herman A., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 18(15. 

Kunyler Jean, Kingston, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

King Lucius A., Pampas, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Kenyon Henry, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Kane William, Geneva, Discharged Jan. 19, 1863; disability. 

Kesler John, Geneva, Discharged Dec. 7, 1862 ; disability. 

Leonard Patrick, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 18(15, as Corporal. 

Lewis Myron W., Genoa, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Moyier George, Mayfield, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Moore Philip, Genoa, Mustered out June 7, 1S65. 

Marshall Julian E., Pampas, Died at Bardstown, Ky., Dec. 6, 1862. 

Martin John, Genoa, Discharged May 4, 1863; disability. 

Martin Augustus, Genoa, Discharged Jan. 10, 1863; disability. 

McNaughton William, Genoa, Discharged Dec. 29, 1862; disability. 

Norris George E., Sycamore, Discharged *Vpril 8, 1863; disability. 

Ousterhaut Franklin A., Mayfield, Transferred July 25, 1864. 

Olin Nathaniel J., Pampas, Mustered out July 1, 1865. 

Pond Americus II., Genoa. 

Patterson Francis, Mayfield, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Petrie Samuel, Sycamore, Trans, to Eng. Corps, Aug. 15, 1865. 

Pierce James, Genoa, Discharged Dec. 28, 1863; disability. 

Patrick Albert .)., Sycamore, absent, sick, at M. O. of Regiment. 

Phelps James A., Pampas, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 


Peters Warren F., Sycamore, Mustered out .June 7, 1865. 

Phelps Edgar ,\l ., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Corporal. 

Phelps James M., Sycamore. .Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Corporal. 

Peary Nehemiah, Genoa, Trans, lo Eng. Corps, Aug. 11, 1864. 

Palmer Clark, Mayfield, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Patterson George, Genoa, Mustered out July 8, 1865. 

Robinson Cyrus 11., Kingston, Mustered out June 7, ls<i">. 

Rhinehart Joseph B., Mayfield, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

liodabaugli Samuel II., Genoa, Mustered nut June 7, 18(55. 

Raymond Oliver 15., Mayfield. 

Smith Marvin A., Kingston, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Smauson John, Pampas, Died Aug. 12. 1H64 ; wounds. 

Shaw Cheney !>., Pampas, Mustered out June 7. ISO"., as Serg't. 

Scott Albert, South Grove, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Safford Edward P., Sycamore, Pro. Capt. 14th l T . S. C. T , Nov. 1, 1863. 

Settle William IF., Genoa, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Schwirk Joseph, Sycamore, Died at. Scottsboro, Ala., Dec. 7, 1862, 

Smith Chauncey. Mayfield, Discharged Fell. 22, 1863; disability. 

Spanton Thomas, Plato, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

neapey James, Sycamore, .Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Spancell George, Sycamore, Accidentally killed Sept. 10, 1863. 

Smith Ashael C, Genoa, Discharged April 8, 186:',; disability. 

Tewksburry Russell B., Sycamore, Discharged April 2. lsn:! ; disability. 

Westbrook Samuel D., Sycamore, Discharged April 8, 1863; disability. 

Wattles Sylvinis. Geneva, Died at Chattanooga, Aug. 'J, 18(54. 

West Elias C, Geneva, .Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Wilcox Aziel, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Wright Wentworth, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Corporal. 

Wilson John, South Grove, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Woodward William, South Grove, Discharged Oct. 12, 1862: minor. 


Croft James, Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Jones George W., Transferred to Co. K, Kith 111. Inf. 

Kemp John, Deserted July 10, 1863. 

House William II'., Mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Settle Oscar D., Pampas, Transferred to Co. K, 16th 111. Inf. 
Weedon Alvin G., Pampas, Yet. recruit. Tr. lo Co. K, 16th 111. Inf. 


Beard Henry, absent, sick, at M. O. of Regiment. 



John W. Burst, Franklin, Promoted 2d Lieut., then 1st Lieut. 


Charley W. Seidil, Sycamore, Discharged Feb. 14, 1864, to accept promo- 
tion 'in 16th U. S. C. T. 

Charley C. Tubbs, Sycamore, Died, Vining Station, Ga., Aug. 5, 1864. 

Thomas J. Albee, Svcamore, Discharged Feb. 14, 1864, to accept promo- 
tion in 16th U. S.' C. T. 

George L. Eisher, Sycamore, Disch. April 14. 1863, as Priv. : disability. 

CORPORA i, s. 

William McLogan, Sycamore, Deserted Oct. 30, 1862. 

Isaac S. Brundage, Cortland, Pro. 1st Serg't, then 1st Lieut. 

Walter Harvard. Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, 1865, as Serg't. 


Charley H. Clark, Sycamore, Died Jan. 1, '6.'!. 

Harmon M. Stark, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7. '65. 

Friah Smith, Mayfield, Priv. Absent, sick, al M. <). of Regiment. 

Marils L. Mason, South Grove, Died, Savannah, Ga., .lime Id, '65 : wo'ds. 

Henry J. Merrill, Sycamore, Disch. April 28, '68, as Scrg't : disability. 


Allen Joseph S., Sycamore, Discharged Dec. '21, '62; disability. 

At wood Richard W., Sycamore, Corporal. Died at Chattanooga, Tcnn., 

June 1, '64 ; wounds. 
A It hen John, Sycamore, absent, wounded, at M. 0. of Regiment. 
Anlich William C, Sycamore, Discharged March 27, '63; disability. 
Aarner Oscar, Kingston, Mustered out June 7, '65. 
Bannister Levi, Pampas, Mustered out June 7, '<'>•">. 
Rebee Charles, Sycamore, .Mustered out June 7, '(15. 
Rebee Silva, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65. 

Rarchfield Thomas J., Kingston, Died at South Tunnel, T., Jan. 8, '68. 
Bewley John, Sycamore, Trans, to Co. C, Kith 111. Inf. 
Burnside Delos, Sycamore, Trans, to Eng. Corps, Aug. 16, '64. 
Bean David K., Kingston. Was pris. Died at Chattanooga, Ten n 
Rates Stephen. Kingston, Mustered out June 7, "65. 
Cole Charles W., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 
Courser Myron M.. Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65, ;is Corporal. 
Clark William C, Sycamore, Deserted Oct. 30, '62. 
Churchill Andrew J., Sycamore, Died at South Tunnel, T., Jan. 1. '68. 
Cameron William T., Kingston, Discharged Jan. 11, '68: disability. 
Collier James II., Mayfield, Discharged April IS, '64; disability. 
Detield John, Sycamore, M. O. May -4. '65, as Musician. 
Decker Warren, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65. 
Depue Joseph, Sycamore, Discharged Jan. 11, '"63; disability. 
Danberg John, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65. 
Decker William, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65. 
Davis Edward R., Sycamore, Died at Camp Butler, 111., Oct, 17, 'it 
Dodgo Oscar, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, "6">. 
Francis Stephen D.. Pampas, absent, sick, at M. O. of Regiment. 
Ketterley John W.. Sycamore, Died at Nashville, Tenn., Feb. II. '61. 
Furness Herman. Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 
Korkner, or Faulkner, M., Sycamore, Mustered out Aug. 1 I. '65, 
Gardner Andrew J.. Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65. 
Gardner Alonzo. Sycamore. Mustered out June 7. '65. 
Gould William II.. Pampas. Mustered out June 7. 'ti">. 
Gould George H.. Pampas, Corporal. Died. Nashville. Tenn.. Nov. I. '63. 
Herren William, Kingston, Mustered out June 7. '65. 
Hoffman William. South Grove, absent, sick, at M. O. of Regiment. 
Hammond William W\, Sycamore, Discharged Jan. 13, '63, as Corporal : 

Hathaway Johnson, Pampas. Discharged Jan. I. '63 : disability. 
Howden William A.. Sycamore, Died Nov. 16, '62. 
Hade Joel W., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7. '65. 

John, or Johnson. Charles. Pampas, Mustered out June 7 165, as Corp"l. 
Jackman Charles D., Sycamore. M. 0. June 7, '65, as 1st ! -geant. Coin 

I'd Lieut., but not mustered. t, 

.Ionian Leonard or Lem.. Burlington, Discharged Jan. 16. uo .8 : disability. 
Jordan William. Burlington, Transferred to Co. E, 105th 1 ' nf. 
Kelsey John B., Pampas, Discharged Feb. 10. '68; disabil^ g el 
Fiinderruan George P., Cortland, Mustered out May IS, '65. ' 
Listy Charles, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '65. 


Lindsay Lyman C, Sycamore, Mustered out .lime 12. '65. 
Malo Samuel, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7. '05. 

Morgan Bartholomew, Sycamore, Discharged March 22. '05 : disability. 
Miller William F., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '05. 
Mason Seth M.. South Grove. Discharged .Ian. 5, '03; disability. 
Newell George, South Grove. Died at Shelby ville, Ky.. Oct. 20, 'Hi! 
Olney John I'.. Franklin. Trans, to Kng. Corps. Aug. 10, '04. 
l'elton Lysander, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7. '05. 
Pelton Leauder, Sycamore, Discharged March 24. '08; disability. 
Uussell Kuthven, Cortland, Died at Gallatin, Tenn., Feb. 1. '03. 
Hose William II., Sycamore, Wounded at Dallas, Ga., May 27, 'HI Sup- 
posed to be dead. 
Rowen George W., Kingston, Deserted March 1. '03. 
Rapps William A.. Sycamore. Mustered out June 7. '05. 
Spohn Darius A., Sycamore, Discharged Dec. 25, '02; disability. 
Sherman Levi, Kingston, Died at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec. 3, '02. 
Schoolcroft Minor, De Kalb, Discharged May HI, '03 ; disability. 
Stow Edwin. Sycamore, Mustered out. June 7. '05. 
Smith John. Sycamore. Discharged Feb. '.K '05; disability. 
Thompson Henry 1!.. Burlington, Discharged Jan. 11. '08; disability. 
Trombly George, Sycamore, Escaped pris. Rep'd at Chattanooga. 
Trombly Alexander. Sycamore, Mustered out June 7. '05, as Corporal. 
Tibbetts Samuel E., Kingston, Mustered out June 7, '(55, as Sergeant. 
Thompson Edwin, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '05. as Sergeant. 
Wyllys George D., South Grove, Mustered out June 7, '05. 
Wright Hiram. Burlington. Died Oec. 21, '<'>•'!. 
Wright John. Burlington, Mustered out June 7, '05. 
Winans Clark A., Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '05. 
Wheeler Lysander, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '(55, as Sergeant. 
Wallies Charles W., Kingston, Discharged Feb. 23, '03 : disability. 
Warf Henry, Kingston, Mustered out. June 7, '05, as Corporal, 
Welch Peter N., Pampas. Discharged Match 23, '05 : wounds. 
White John P., Sycamore. Discharged Jan. 14, '03; disability. 
Worden Martin, South Grove, Died Dec. 23, '02. 
Weber John, Sycamore, Mustered out June 7, '05. 
Waldron Isaac H., Sycamore, Mustered out. June 7, '05. 


Brula Edward, Dunleith, Transferred to Co. C, 10th 111. Jul. 
Decker Mathias, Sycamore, Died July 'J, '0-4; wounds. 


Goodman Richard S., Mustered out. June 7, '05. 



John II. Swift, Paw Paw. promoted 2d Lieutenant. 


Jonachan R. Marryatt, Shabbona, promoted 1st Serg't. then 1st Lieut. 
Thomas Georgi Taylor, Shabbona, accidentally killed, Feb. 15, '04. 
Thomas J. Piei e e, Wyoming, died at Nashville, Tenn., March 3. 'HI. 
William II. O.jj 'evens, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '05, as Private. 


William 11. L Shabbona, discharged March 23, '03 ; disability. 
Jacob Ostr j0£a r, Paw Paw, M. O. June 7, '65, as 1st Serg't. Com 

2d Lieut, ,,,'vc not mustered. 
Darius Horton, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '05, as Sergeant. 


William E. Grovcr. Shabbona, Serg't. Killed at Dallas, (ia.. May 27, '64. 
John Thompkins, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Private. 
David N. Jackson, Shabbona, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Nov. 19, '62- 
Chauncey Condie, Shabbona, M. 0. June 7, '65, as Private. Wounded 
John Fowler, Shabbona, died at Louisville, Ky., Oct. 27, '62. 


Ames John, Shabbona, M. 0. June 7, '65, as Corporal. Wounded. 

Anderson Augustus, Paw Paw, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Howker William, Paw Paw, mustered out June 7, '65. Wounded. 

Belden John A., Paw Paw, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Handheld Benjamin, Paw Paw. discharged Jan. 15, '63 ; disability. 

Baker Artemus A., Paw Paw, deserted Sept. 2, '(32. 

Cook George H.. Paw Paw, transferred to Engineer Corps, Aug. 15, 'Ii4. 

Cheney Olo D., Paw Paw, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Cross Charles C, Shabbona, died May 28, '64 ; wounds. 

Challand Charles, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Crim Levi, Shabbona, discharged Jan. 14, '63 ; disability. 

Dyas Moses, Shabbona, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec. 2, '62. 

Damon Solon W., Shabbona, absent, wounded, at M. 0. of Kegiinent. 

Damon George H., Shabbona, discharged June 9, '63; disability. 

Davenport William H., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Davis Albert, Shabbona, discharged Aug. 4, '63; disability. 

Dennison John M., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Davendorf Augustus, Shabbona, died at Murfreesboro, T., July 10, '63. 

Fermen James B., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Fowler James, Shabbona, discharged March 23, '65 ; disability. 

Fripps Byron D., Shabbona, discharged April 11, '63; disability. 

Glen John, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Gerard George W., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Goodyear Nelson, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Griffith Henry S., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Sergeant. 

Goodyear Joseph T., Shabbona, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Nov. 21, '62. 

Howes Philip, Shabbona, Corporal. Died May 31, '64; wounds. 

Hamlin John A., Shabbona, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Dec. 10, '62. 

Hinds Austin F., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Hayes John M., Shabbona. mustered out June 7, '65. 

Harper George C, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Hunter Robert, Shabbona, deserted Jan. 1, '63. 

Howes Moses, Shabbona, mustered out June 12, '65. 

Halk Elijah, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Hatch Charles, Shabbona, died at Nashville, Tenn., July 14, '64 ; wounds. 

lvers Thomas, Shabbona, discharged June 20, '63 ; disability. 

Jordan James, Shabbona, M. 0. June 7, '65. Wounded twice. 

Kennicott Ira, jr.. Shabbona, discharged Jan. 14, '63; disability. 

Kilbouru Lyman, Shabbona, killed at Resaca, Ga., May 14, '64. 

Kelly Daniel A., Shabbona, discharged Dec. 31, '62; disability. 

Lanaghan Michael. Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Lake Hurbert F., Shabbona, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec. 30, '62. 

Landers Ebenezer, Shabbona, mustered out June 14, '65. 

Lamkins Josiah B., Shabbona, deserted Nov. 21, '62. 

Lamkins Sidney G., Shabbona, died at Louisville, Ky., Oct. 20, '62. 

Morrison William, Shabbona, killed near Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 5, '64. 

Morrison George, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Minnihan Michael, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Sergeant. 

Mullins John, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65 ; wounded. 

Merwin Samuel, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 



Mott Jacob, Shabbona, died at Louisville, Ky., Aug. 5, '64 ; wounds. 

Morey Hiram, Shabbona, mustered out .June 7, '65. 

Matteson Egbert J., Shabbona, died at Louisville, Ky., Nov. 19, '62. 

McCormick Thomas, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

McCorniick John, Shabbona, mustered out. June 7, '65. 

Marble Edmund D., Shabbona, mustered out June 7. '65. 

McClymonds Thos. G., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

McFarland John, Shabbona, died at Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 27, '62. 

McFarland Walter S., Shabbona, discharged June 17, '63; disability. 

Norton Sidney, Shabbona, mustered out. June 7, '65. 

Nicholson Patrick, Shabbona, deserted Sept. 2. '62. 

Nicholson John, Shabbona, died at Chicago, Sept. 29, '62. 

Newton Charles W., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

iNichols Hamilton, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Pattee Albion, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65 ; wounded. 

Perkins John, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Sergeant. 

Palm David, Shabbona. died at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec. 2, '(12. 

Randall Charles W., Shabbona, died at Nashville, Tenn., March 1, '64. 

Simpson Seela, Shabbona, killed near Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 5, '64. 

Scott. Miles, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Sutliff John II., Shabbona, mustered out. June 7, '65; wounded. 

Spaulding James, Shabbona, mustered out June 7. '65. 

Swanson Charles J., Shabbona. mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Sherrill Aaron E., Shabbona, died at Gallatin, Tenn., March 3, '63. 

Stansbury Tishe, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Vanpatten Abram, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Watson Robert T., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Watson William, jr., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Wright William, Shabbona, died May 25, '64; wounds. 

Wilson Alfred B., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 


Alford Martin S., Shabboua, transferred to Co. A, 16th 111. Inf. 
Donaldson Reuben, Shabbona, transferred to Co. A, 16th 111. Inf. 
Donaldson Russell, Shabbona, transferred to Co. A, 16th 111. Inf. 
Edmonds John, Shabbona, transferred to Co. A. 16th HI. Inf. 
Ellis Josiah, Shabbona, transferred to Co. A, 16th 111. Inf. 
Ford Lyman W., Shabbona, transferred to Co. A, 16th 111. Inf. 
Harper Andrew G., Chicago, transferred to Co. A, 16th 111. Inf. 

Jordan William, mustered out June 7, '65. 

McCooley John, mustered out, June 7, '65. 

Sherwood Theodore J., Shabbona, transferred to Co. A. 16th HI. Inf. 

Williams George, mustered out June 7, '65. 



Hiram S. Harrington, Franklin, promoted 2d Lieutenant. 


William S. Taylor, Sycamore, discharged Feb. 10, '63; disability. 

John M. Schoenmaker, Franklin, discharged for promotion as 1st Lieut . 

in U. S. C. T., June 27, '64. 
Samuel H. Williamson, Flora, promoted 1st Serg't, then 1st Lieut. 
John T. Becker, South Grove, commissioned 1st Lieut., but not mustered. 

M. 0. May 26, '65, as 1st Serg't. Wounded. 
Henry Romyen, Tecumseh, Mich., discharged July 6, '64, for promotion 

as Capt. in U. S. Col. Troops. 


DeForest P. Bennett, Monroe, discharged Aug. 4, '63 ; disability. 
John Fox, Franklin, discharged March 17, '63; disability. 
James 11. Williamson, Flora, M. 0. June 7, '05, as Sergeant; wounded. 
William C. Fay, Squaw Grove, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Parker M. Banks, Franklin, mustered out June 7, '65, as Serg't ; wounded. 
Wesley Witter, Monroe, died at Flora, 111., Dec. 25, '62. 
James Hasburg, Burlington, commissioned 2d Lieut., but not mustered. 
M. O. June 7, '65, as Sergeant. 


Samuel ('. Perry, Burlington, died at Cincinnati, O, Dec. 28, '62. 


Burpee George W., Rockford, promoted Quartermaster Sergeant. 
Banks Benjamin F., Franklin, discharged April 10, '65; wounds. 
Barker Anson B., Burlington, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec. 4, '04. 
Barker William L., South Grove, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 
Bradburn Nathan E., Bm-lington, transferred to Eng. Corps, July 25, '64. 
Bock William, Burlington, died at Gallatin, Tenn., March 27, '63. 
Baker Richard A., Squaw Grove, discharged March GO, '63, to enlist in 

Miss. Marine Brigade. 
Burbig Theodore, Belvidere, mustered out June 7, '65 ; wounded. 
Barber William II., Malta, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 
Bennett William S., Franklin, died at Gallatin, Tenn., March 24, '03. 
Barnard John, Hampshire, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Caspares Nathan S., Franklin, died at Nashville, Tenn., June 10, '63. 
Costar Melvin, Squaw Grove, died at Bowling Green. Ky., Dec. 12, '02. 
Calkins Allen S., Burlington, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Collins George W., Plato, mustered out June 7, '05, as Corporal. 
Carlisle Hiram, Burlington, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec. 0, '02. 
Cline Henry, Franklin, died at Gallatin Tenn., Dec. 22. '02. 
Casterline Andrew J,, Franklin, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Chapman Charles W., Burlington, discharged Jan. 12, '63; disability. 
Cougle William A., Virgil, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Davenport James, De Kalb, transferred to Invalid Corps, July HI, 'ill. 
Davis Egbert V., Burlington, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Dean Charles E., Franklin, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Early Henry, Squaw Grove, discharged Jan. 11, "03; disability. 
Ellis Linneaus, Virgil, mustered out June 7, '05 ; wounded. 
Eddy William II. L., Burlington, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 
Fritz Christopher, Franklin, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Foss William L., Franklin, killed near Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 10, '04. 
Fish Daniel W., Burlington, discharged Dec. 14, '02; disability. 
Gorham Danford, Franklin, died at Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 18, '04. 
Gibson Emory M., South Grove, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Gordon George N., Monroe, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Holdridge Daniel, Burlington, M. O. June 7, '65, as Corporal ; wounded. 
Hinsdale William, Squaw Grove, absent, sick, at M. (). of Regiment. 
Ingalls William N., Burlington, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Dec. 13, '02. 
Jones Franci3 A., Franklin, mustered out June 7, '05; wounded. 
Lusher Anstice, Franklin, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Nov. 22, 'G2. 
McKee Alfred R., Flora, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Dec. 18. '02. 
Miller Lester I., Monroe, supposed killed May 15, '04. 
Moon Curtis P., Franklin, mustered out June 7, '05. 

Miller John II., mustered eut June 7, '65. 

Miller Charles M., died at Chattanooga, June 17, '04; wounds. 

Mack AValter S., Franklin, mustered out June 7, '05. 

Morgan Harvey M., Burlington, mustered out June 7. '05. as Corporal. 


McLelland William P., Burlington, discharged March 11, '03, to enlist in 

Miss. Marine Brigade. 
McLelland George W., Burlington, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Maltby Charles A., Burlington, transferred to Invalid Corps, Oct. 20, '64; 

Patten Byron A., South Grove, discharged June 12, '65; wounds. 
Planty Julius, Hampshire, transferred to Eng. Corps, July 25, '04. 
Perry Myron C, Burlington, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Pritchard Hiram F., South Grove, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Simmons William II.. Sycamore, discharged Feb. 7. '63 ; disability. 
Strawn Charles A.. Franklin, mustered out June 7, '65 ; wounded 
Southard Daniel E., Franklin, deserted Oct. 29, '02. Since enlisted in 

14th 111. Cav. 
Samis Elijah, Burlington, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Dec. 0, '02. 
Sylvester Lewis, Squaw Grove, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Stoker John T., Gridley, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Nov. 23, 02. 
Smith William M., Burlington, discharged July '•>, '04, to accept promotion 

as 2d Lieut, in 114th U. S. C, T. 
Strub Peter, Pampas, absent, sick, at M. O. of Regiment. 
Thomas Samuel K., South Grove, discharged Feb. 19, '03 ; disability. 
Taplin Orville H., Flora, mustered out June 7, '65; wounded. 
Thomas David E., Franklin, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Wylde Thomas W., Franklin, discharged March 17, '03 ; disability. 
Williams Charles W., Squaw Grove, M. 0. June 7, '65, Corp'l. Wounded 
Wylke Herman, Franklin, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Williamson Thomas E., Flora, M. 0. June 7, '05, as Serg't; wounded. 
Young Martin, Burlington, died at South Tunnel], T.. July 11, '63. 


Hapgood Julian W., mustered out June 7, '05. 

Haller Gabriel, Flora, mustered out June 7. '65. 

Strawn Joseph II., Sycamore, killed at Peach T. Creek, July 20. 64. 

Witler Oliver P., M. 0. June 7, '65 ; wounded twice. 


Bat tie Bird, mustered out June 7, '05. 

Battle Mat, absent, sick, at M. 0. of Regiment. 



Walter B. Walker, Sandwich, discharged Sept. 3,0, '02 : disability. 


Harvey Potter, Somonauk, promoted 2d Lieut., then 1st Lieut. 

George Dean, Asbury, mustered out June 7, '05. as 1st Sergeant. Com. 

2d Lieut., but not mustered. 
Wallace W. Moore, Freeland, discharged May 5, '65 ; wounds. 
Frank H. Cole, Somonauk, promoted 1st Serg't, then 1st Lieut. 


\. G. White, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05, as Sergeant. 
Allen Edgerly, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65, as Sergeant 
Isaac Scoggin, Asbury, mustered out June 7, '05, as Sergeant. 
Joseph P. Fulton, Freeland, appointed Hospital Steward U. S. A. 
Israel S. Clark. Somonauk, mustered out June 7, '65, as Private. 
Jesse L. Gage, Sandwich, died Aug. 12, '04; wounds. 
Andrew A. Beveridge, Sandwich, discharged Dec. IK, '02; disability. 
Thomas Mason, Sandwich, discharged Sept. 28, for promotion. 



Raker Thornton, Sandwich, discharged Jan. 4, '63; disability. 

Blackwood Robert C, Victor, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Feb. 22, '63. 

Brown Robert, Freeland, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Bishop Warren F., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65 ; wounded. 

Bullock Rutson J., Victor, discharged Jan. 10, '63 ; disability. 

Blackwood William, Sandwich, transferred to Eng. Corps. Aug. 14, '64. 

Breeeher Jacob, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Coon II J., Freeland, discharged Jan. 13, '63; disability. 

Corke James, Asbury, mustered out June 7, '65, 

Corke Jesse, Asbury, discharged Feb. — , '63 ; disability. 

Carpenter Henry, Squaw Grove, absent, sick, at M. (). of Regiment. 

Cai-r, 11. H., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 

Davis David, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Devine Michael, Freeland, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Karnes Mott V., Sandwich, Corporal. Trans, to V. R. C. Jan. 2, '05. 

Eckhart Lewis, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Fish W. J. M., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 

Forsyth Andrew G., Somonauk, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Ferguson Robert, Freeland, transferred to Eng. Corps, Aug. 15, '64. 

Freeland E. K., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 

Gurnsey Samuel, Sandwich, died at South Tunnel, Tenn., Dec. 27, '02. 

Graves William H., Sandwich, died at South Tunnel, Tenn., Dec. 29, '02. 

Grear A. L., Asbury, killed at l'each T. Creek, July 20, '04. 

Graham, Andrew H., Freeland, mustered out June 7, '05, as Sergeant. 

H usted Peter, Sandwich, mustered out July 3, '05. 

Howard James A., Somonauk, mustered out Oct. 9, '05. 

Henry John V., Somonauk, discharged March 28, '04, for promotion R. 

Q. M., 17th 111. Cav. 
Hamlin Almon, Sandwich, Sergeant. Transferred to V. R. C, May 15. 

'04, on account of wounds. 
Hall Zera W., Sandwich, died at Gallatin, Tenn., March 28, '63. 
Hall Harlow, Sandwich, mustered out May 19, '05, as Corporal. 
Hall William T., Sandwich, discharged Dec. 4, '02 ; disability. 
Harrington Geoige, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Kirkpatrick R. D., Sandwich, mustered out Juue 7, '05, as Corporal. 
Kirkpatrick M. C, Sandwich, discharged April 10, '03; disability. 
Kirtland Jerome, Sandwich, absent, wounded, at M. O. of Regiment. 
King Michael, Sandwich, died at Louisville, Ky., Nov. 15, '63. 
Redder H. E., Sandwich, died at Louisville, Ky., July 8, '0:!. 
Lamb Stillman C, Sandwich, discharged May 21, '63 ; disability. 
Mills Benjamin, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Morgan E. H.. Sandwich, discharged May 20, '04; disability. 
McCauley M., Sandwich, discharged Nov. 4, '04 ; wounds. 
McBride Samuel, Sandwich, discharged April 24, '63 ; disability. 
Martin David, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Mitten Samuel, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Miles Joseph, Sandwich, discharged March 5, '0)3, disability. 
Mead Jonathan, Sandwich, mnstered out June 7, '65. 
Merwin George B., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05, as Corporal. 
McAllister William J., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 
Miller William, Sandwich, transferred to V. R. C, Jan. 2, '65. 
Nichols George, Sandwich, mustered out June 21, '05. 
Poplin Jesse F., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65 : wounded. 
Piatt David, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Rogers Stephen, Sandwich, discharged June 15, '01 ; wounds. 
Riddle C. B., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '05. 


Rumsey Robert, Sandwich, discharged May 9, '65; wounds. 

Samples Nelson, Sandwich, deserted Sept. 8, '62. Enlisted in Cavalry ; 

deserted. Was arrested and shot. 
Springer Thomas, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 
Smith Stephen, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Skinner Kldridge, Sandwich, M. 0. June 7, '05, as Corporal: wounded. 
Schroder William, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Stall J. W., Sandwich, discharged Feb. 3, '63 ; disability. 
Smith Isaac, Sandwich, mustered out June 1, '65 ; pris. war. 
Stevens A. V., Sandwich, died at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec. 18, '62. 
Tomlin George, Sandwich, discharged Oct. 13, '64, as Corp'l : disability. 
Tracy Charles, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Wells Leonard B., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Woodward R.. Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 
Whitmore Charles W., Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Wagner Homer A., Sandwich, discharged Feb. ti, '63 : disability. 
White William C, Sandwich, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Wilcox (). A., Sandwich, discharged April 17, '(',:! ; disability. 
Wright Carter E., Sandwich, mustered out May 20, 'ii">. 


Burgin Jesse, Victor, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Taylor Samuel, Gallatin, Tenn., transferred to Co. C, 16th 111. Inf. 


Polk Peter, Nashville, Tenn., mustered out June 7, '65. 


John Ellis, Clinton, promoted lid Lieut., then 1st Lieut. 


Emerson T. Knights, De Kalb, 1st Serg't. Died at Gallatin, Feb. 28, '63. 
George G. Congdon, Clinton, discharged March 25, '63; disability. 
Charles H. Salisbury, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65, as 1st Sergeant. 

Com. 2d Lieut., but not mustered. 
Joel A. Gleason, Clinton, mustered out June 7. '65, 

Truman Pritchard, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. as Sergeant. 
Jerome Perry Clinton, M. 0. June 7, '65, as Sergeant ; wounded. 
Albert If. Rolph, De Kalb, discharged Dec. 2, '63, as 1st Sergeant. 
Byron S. Barnes, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Private. 
Fordys A. Gates, Pierce, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Feb. 13, '63. 
Almon M. Ingalls, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Sergeant. 
Wilbur Earl, Afton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Private. 
Delano M. Williams, Clinton, discharged Jan. 3, '63; disability. 


Elijah Fields, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Thomas Green, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 


William B. Aldrich, De Kalb, discharged Dec. 21, '62 ; disability. 


Almberg Andrew, De Kalb, absent, sick, at M. O. of Regiment. 
Akerman August, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Alford Buell G., Clinton, absent, sick, at M. 0. of Regiment. 
Albert Henry, Afton, mustered out June 7. ^jo. 


Allen Ira, Clinton, transferred to Kng. Corps, July 2, ,'64. 

Bathrick Byron, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Bowerman Freeman, Milan, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Belfrage John B., De Kalb, promoted Hospital Steward. 

Chandler David D., De Kalb, promoted Sergeant Major. 

Carlton Ezra D., De Kalb, discharged Jan. 30, 62 ; disability. 

Carlton David H., De Kalb, mustered out June 14, '65. 

Cardell John, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Campbell James W., De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Duffy Christopher, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Dunbar Eugene AV., De Kalb, discharged April 24, '63; disability. 

Denison Eugene R., Aft on. mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Duffy Joseph, Afton, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Dunbar Solomon T., De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65 : wounded. 

Elliott Charles. Afton, killed at Kenesaw Mt., June 22, '64. 

Eaton Joseph R., De Kalb, died at Bowling Green. Ky., Nov. 16, '62. 

Foote Ebenezer, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Flanders Charles M., Clinton, discharged April 11, '63; disability. 

Fullerton C. Taylor, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Gamble Alexander, De Kalb, died at South Tunnel, Tenn., Feb. 3, '63. 

Gardner Horace, Clinton, M. 0. June 7, '65; wounded twice. , 

Garlock Joseph W., Afton, transferred to Miss. Mar. Brig., Jan. 19, '63. 

Green John A., Victor, discharged June 3, '65 ; wounds. 

Gibson James, Clinton, died at Kingston, June 1, '64 ; wounds. 

Dayman Alexander, Afton, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Houghton Joseph, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Hawley Matthew S., De Kalb, discharged Jan. 11, '63 ; disability. 

Hughes Elias, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Hall John, Milan, deserted Sept. 10, '62. 

Huffman John, De Kalb, killed at Averysboro, N. C, March 16, '65. 

Handy Jerome, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65 ; wounded. 

Johans John 1'., Afton, killed at Resaca, May 15, '64. 

Johnson John, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Kellogg Henry, Clinton, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Dec. 12, '62. 

Kruetstield Peter T., Afton, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Kimball Joseph A., Clinton, transferred to V. R. C, March 13, '64. 

Lindsay Jeremiah B., Malta, deserted Sept. 30, '62. 

Lamb John E., Victor, absent, wounded, at M. O. of Regiment. 

Low James, Clinton, died at Gallatin, Tenn., March 3, '63. 

McCollum Joseph W., De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Milton George, Milan, killed at Fine Hill. Ga., June 15, '61. 

Martin J. Wesley, Milan, deserted Sept. 15, '62. 

MeCabe James. De Kalb, discharged March 11, '63 ; disability. 

Morrill Jonathan M.. Clinton, died at South Tunnel, Tenn., Jan. 26, '63. 

Manning Luke, Clinton, M. O. June 7, '65; wounded three times. 

Martin Thomas H., Alton, Corporal. Transferred to Eng. Corps, March 

13, '64. 
Mennis William W.. Clinton, absent, siok, at muster-out of Regiment. 
Nichols Edwin, De Kalb, accidentally killed, June 5, '64. 
Newton George, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Olverson Lewis, Afton, died March 25, '65; wounds. 
Farr Edwin, Clinton, discharged Dec. 26, '62; disability. 
Pearson Edward, Clinton, mustered out June 22, '65; wounded. 
Peterson Lewen, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Palquert Liven, Mayfield, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Purcell Ehomas, De Kalb, died at Gallatin, Tenn., April 17, '63. 
Phillips William H., De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 


Preston Stephen F.' De Kalb, deserted Oct. 29, '62. 

Smith Andrus, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65; wounded. 

Seeley Anson, Clinton, discharged May 15. '63; cisability. 

Schroeder Charles N., Clinton, transferred to Eng. Corps, July -, '64. 

Safford Charles 15., Malta, detached at M. O. of Regiment. 

Scott Ceorge H., Afton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

St. Leger Richard V., Afton, discharged May 15, '63; disability. 

Sullivan John. De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Telford Robert, Clinton, discharged Jan. 12, '68 ; disability. 

Thompson Robert, De Kalb, discharged March 7, '65 ; disability. 

Townsend Robert. Milan, mustered out June 7, '65; wounded. 

Unwin Emanuel, Victor, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Wheeler Dempster, De Kalb, killed near Marietta, Ga., July 3, '64. 

Woodruff Felix, Victor, discharged June 8, '65. 

Wakefield Ceorge W., Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Wakefield Horace, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65 : wounded. 

Walker Robert, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal 

Whitmore Thomas ('., De Kalb, discharged April 24, '63; disability. 

Wheeler William, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65 ; wounded. 

Wiltberger William 11., Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65, as Corporal. 

Whitmore Silas A.. De Kalb, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Feb. 10, '<>>. 


Lamb Curtis A., Victor, tranferred to Co. A, 16th 111. Inf. 
Pearsons Judsou M., Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 


Fisher Wyatt, killed at Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 16, til. 

Daniel Dustin, Sycamore, promoted Brevet Brigadier General, March 16, 
'65. Mustered out June 7, '65. 

Lieutenant Colonels. 
Henry F. Vallette, Naperville, resigned June IS, 'HI. 

Everell F. Button, Sycamore, promoted Brevet Brigadier General, March 
16, '6,'). Mustered out June 7, '65. 

Everell F. Button, Sycamore, promoted. 
Henry D. Brown, Sycamore, mustered out June 1 , '65. 

William N". Phillips, Wayne, resigned Dec. 2, " < '»— . 
David D. Chandler, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Timothy Wells, Sycamore, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Horace S. Potter, Chicago, killed in battle, June 2, 64. 
Alfred Waterman. Warrenville, mustered out June 7, 65. 

First Assistant Surgeons. 
Alfred Waterman, Warrenville, promoted. 
George W. Beggs, Naperville, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Second Assistant Surgeon. 
George W- Peggs, Naperville, promoted. 



Levi P. Crawford, Sandwich, resigned December 24, '62. 

Daniel Chapman, resigned January 8, '65. 

COMPANY " A."— Captains. 
Henry D. Brown, Sycamore, promoted Major. 
George B. Heath, Sycamore, mustered out June 7, '65. 

First Lieutenants. 
George B. Heath, Sycamore, promoted. 
Henry H. Slater, Genoa, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Robert D. Lord, Genoa, resigned December 17, '62. 

W- Robert Thomas, Sycamore, promoted, by Pre.s., \. A. G., July 15, '61. 
Chauncey E. Sixbury, Sycamore, mustered out as Sergeant June 7, '65. 

COMPANY " C."— Captains. 
Alexander L. Warner, Sycamore, resigned February 17, 'Go. 
fteorge W. Field, Sycamore, resigned July 1 1, 'Go. 
Charles G. Culver, Sandwich, mustered out Juue 7, '65. 

First Lieutenants. 
George W. Field, Sycamore, promoted. 
Henry B. Mason, Sycamore, resigned September 6, '63. 
John W- Burst, Franklin, honorably discharged October 19, '64. 
Isaac S. Brundage, Cortland, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Henry B. Mason, Sycamore, promoted. 
John W- Burst, Franklin, promoted. 
Charles D. Jackman, Sycamore, mustered out as Sergeant June 7, '65. 

COMPANY "E."— Captains. 
Thomas S. Terry, Shabbona, resigned March 16, 63. 
Marvin V. Allen, Shabbona, honorably discharged January 20, '65. 

First LAeutenants. 
Marvin V. Allen, Shabbona, promoted. 

Albert C. Overton, Shabbona, honorably discharged August 13, '61 
Jonathan D. Marryott, Shabbona, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Albert C. Overton, Shabbona, promoted. 
John II. Swift, Paw Paw, resigned March 16, '64. 
Jacob Ostrander, Paw Paw, mustered out as Sergeant June 7, '65. 

COMPANY " G."— Captains. 
John B. Nash, Franklin, resigned July 17, '64. 

John M. Smith, Burlington, honorably discharged as 1st Lieutenant De- 
cember 24, '64. 
Samuel H. "Williamson, Flora, commission returned. Canceled. 

First Lieutenants. 
Richard R. AVoodruff, Sycamore, resigned December 24, '62. 
John M. Smith, Burlington, promoted. 
Samuel II. Williamson, Flora, mustered out June 7, '65. 
John T. Becker, South Grove, mustered out as 1st Sergeant May 26, '65. 

Second Lieutenants. 
John M. Smith, Burlington, promoted. 
Hiram S. Harrington. Franklin, resigned August 2. '63. 
James S. Hasburgh, Burlington, mustered out as Sergeant June 7, '65. 



COMPANY ",H>— Captains. 
Eli L. Hunt, Sandwich, resigned December 17, '62. 
James S. Forsythe, Somonauk, mustered out June 7, '65. 

First Lieutenants. 
James S. Forsythe, Somonauk, promoted. 
Charles G. Culver, Sandwich, promoted Captain Company C. 
Harvey Totter, Ashbury, resigned August 17, '64. 
Frank H. Cole, Somonauk, mustered out June 7, '65. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Charles G. Culver, Sandwich, promoted. 
Harvey Potter, Ashbury, promoted. 
George W. Dean, Freeland, mustered out as Sergeant June 7, '65, 

COMPANY " K."— Captains. 
Horace Austin, De Kalb, resigned November 26. '62. 
Nathan S. Greenwood. Clinton, resigned December 2, '62. 
Almon F. Parke, De Kalb, mustered out June 7, '65. 

First Lieutenants. 
Nathan S. Greenwood, Clinton, promoted. 
Almon F. Parke, De Kalb, promoted. 
John Ellis, Clinton, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Second Lieutenants. 
Almon F. Parke, De Kalb, promoted. 
John Ellis, Clinton, promoted. 
Charles H. Saulsbury, De Kalb, mustered out as Sergeant June 7, '65. 

Eighth Illinois Cavalry. 


When the defeat of the Union armies, at the first battle of 
Bull Run, in July, 1861, had shown the loyal men of the 
north that the rebellion was far more stupendous in its power 
than had at first been supposed, and the first soldiers enlisted 
for three months, and whose time was expiring, were preparing 
to return home, the country became roused to the necessity 
of renewed exertions, and prepared to recruit an army of 
greater magnitude and more thorough organization. The 

op do 

Hon. John F. Farnsworth repaired to Washington, and ob- 
tained permission to recruit a cavalry regiment of 1200 men 
for the three years' service. 

The military authorities heretofore had discouraged the 
raising of cavalry, but the successes of the Rebel Black Horse 
Cavalry had shown their necessity, and a few regiments were 
rather reluctantly authorized. No sooner had Col. Farns- 
worth received this permission than the young men of this 
section of the country hastened to join it. Applications for 
commissions to raise companies poured in, and Col. Farnsworth 
remarked that, if permitted, he could raise a brigade in a 
month. Capt. Lorenzo II. Whitney, of Kingston, in De Kalb 
County, first had a company at the rendezvous, where they 
took quarters, at the Howard House, St. Charles. 

The limits of this work do not admit of a detailed account 
of the experience of the regiment at Camp Kane, St. Charles, 
its first rendezvous, — of the kind attention to our needs of 


the ladies of the place, of the meetings and the speeches, of 
the destruction of rum shops, the drills and the discipline. 

On the 18th of September, 1861, the regiment was mus- 
tered into the United States service, after a very insufficient 
surgical examination. Nearly all were received, but if a rigid 
examination had been made, according to army regulations, a 
great deal of suffering would have been avoided, and the 
Government would have been saved a great expense. They 
were a very intelligent class of men, capable of performing 
any labor; could build railroads, run mills, build wagons, 
carriages, bridges, "run'' newspapers, or labor in the depart- 
ments of any of the professions, and in the fine arts. Most 
of their accomplishments proved useful in the course of their 
career ; but many of them were too old, many too feeble, and 
many too young, to endure the hardships incident to the sol- 
dier's life. 

On the 14th of October, 1861, the regiment marched to 
Geneva, and took cars for the seat of war about Washington : 
the horses had been sent on a feAV days previously, in charge 
of Maj. Beveridge. On all the long journey to Washington 
our passing train was greeted with shouts and cheers, and 
waving handkerchiefs, until we arrived in Maryland ; there, 
all was sullenness and gloom. We had an especially warm 
welcome at Pittsburg, and a bountiful collation given us, in a 
spirit of kindness that will long be remembered. Arriving 
at Washington, on the morning of the 18th of October, we 
found the whole country about, covered with camps; and at 
the Soldiers' Rest we were furnished with refreshments, as 
were all other newly arrived regiments. As we marched up 
Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House, President Lin- 
coln, who stood upon its piazza, remarked: "There goes 
Farnsworth's big Abolition Regiment," — a name by which 
Ave were always after known. 

We went into camp on Meridian Hill, two miles north of 
the White .House, after having lost our way and marched till 
almost exhausted, and there awaited for many weeks a supply 


of arms. There was a good ileal of sickness, owing to the 
marked change in our mode of life and the unfavorable season 
of the year. 

Around Washington Gen. McClcllan had now collected the 
largest army that had ever been brought together upon this 
continent, and the country became clamorous because it lay 
inactive, while the rebels were almost surrounding Washington. 

On the 21st of October we heard the cannon and even the 
musketry of the battle of Ball's Bluff', in which a portion of 
our army suffered a disastrous defeat; and we wondered much 
that this should have been permitted while an hundred thou- 
sand troops lay idle within hearing distance. 

Grand reviews of tens of thousands of troops were of con- 
stant occurrence, but still there was no advance upon the 
enemy. Large numbers of our troops fell sick, or were found 
too infirm from age to endure the hardships of life in camp, 
and many were discharged and sent home. 

We were brigaded Avith the 1st Michigan and 4th Pennsyl- 
vania cavalry, forming the First Brigade of Cavalry in the 
U. S. A., and we were finally assigned to duty under the 
noble and much-loved old Gen. Sumner, who had just arrived 
from California, and been given a command in Virginia, in 
front of Alexandria; but, not having received arms, wo did 
not move to our newly selected camp until the 13th of Decem- 
ber. We had then eighty-five sick, but few of them were 
willing to go to the general hospital, and all who could sit on 
a horse went with the regiment. 

Thousands of spectators crowded the streets of Washington 
as we passed through, for such a body of mounted men hail 
never before marched through Washington. Our new equip- 
ments and our well-fed and well-groomed Western horses made 
a fine appearance. We had eighty-one army wagons to carry 
Avhat we then thought were the mere necessaries of life; but 
before the close of the war we found that twelve were really 
sufficient, — so little did we then know of the real life of the 


Established in camp, our regiment was almost daily called 
on for detachments to do escort duty, and during the fine 
-weather our life was very pleasant; but after the festivities of 
Christmas the rain fell in torrents, the red clay soil became 
knee-deep with half-frozen mud, the tents, some of which had 
unwisely been dug below the surface to give a greater height 
within, became saturated with water; sickness began to in- 
crease, and our discomforts seemed unendurable. During 
January more than five hundred of our boys were on the sick 
list, mostly from typho-malarial fever, and the two comfortless 
hospital tents being over-crowded, many were sent to the 
General Hospital at Alexandria, where several died. 

About a mile from camp was a handsome mansion, owned 
by ;i> rebel, but occupied by another family. This we finally 
took forcible possession of, and it made us an excellent hospital. 

On the 24th of January permission was obtained to move 
the regiment to Alexandria, and shelter it in the vacant houses 
abandoned by the u secesh," while our horses could be quar- 
tered in deserted foundries. This was a great improvement, 
both for our own safety and for our horses, who, left shelter- 
less upon the open country, had suffered more than we, and 
it was really necessary to prevent our destruction by disease. 

We now began to live in greater comfort, but our regiment 
was far from popular among the secesh of Alexandria, or with 
Gen. Montgomery, a superannuated old army officer, who was 
Military Governor of the city, and a great favorite with the 
rebels of the city, especially the ladies. But there were many 
good, earnest Union men and women in the city, Avho were 
warmly our friends, although not popular at Montgomery's 

On Sunday, February 0th, Capt. Elon G. Farnsworth, of 
our regiment, — a member of the Episcopal Church, — was at- 
tending worship with some of our men, when he discovered 
that the secessionist clergyman, Stewart, omitted the prayers 
for the President. lie arose and demanded that they be read 
as usual, and, on refusal, he arrested the clergyman in 


[luragu Lulmeraphing fo.('hi 


pulpit, and took him to headquarters. Gen. Montgomery, of 
course, released him. 

Petty difficulties were constantly arising between our regi- 
ment and the Military Governor, "who was trying the concilia- 
tory policy with the rebels, and he endeavored to have us, 
who had come to fight rebels, removed from the city. The 
Union people of the city, however, Avere anxious that we 
should remain, and in token of their good will they formally 
presented us with a beautiful silken banner, the presentation 
being made the occasion for numerous friendly speeches. 

There was evidently no prospect of an advance of the army 
before spring, but frequent scouting parties of our regiment 
were sent out, in which we generally exchanged shots with 
the rebels, and captured some of them. 

On the 19th of March the long inaction of the army was 
ended, and we were ordered to advance upon the enemy. We 
started at five o'clock, and marched in the cold rain nineteen 
miles upon that day. The movements of our vast army, as 
from some favorable height we occasionally caught sight of it, 
was a spirit-stirring spectacle, and at night its thousands of 
camp-fires, lighting up the country as far as the eye could 
reach, was beautiful indeed. Next morning we moved forward 
to Langster's Station, and there learned that the enemy had 
evacuated Manassas, and retreated toward Richmond. March- 
ing on to Bull Run, on the 12th, we found abundant evidence 
of the hasty retreat of the enemy, — their burned wagons and 
camp equipage being strown around. 

A portion of our regiment was now ordered to Gen. How- 
ard's command, another portion to Gen. French's, and a part 
remained to guard the wagon trains at Union Mills. Scout- 
ing through Centreville, we found its famous fortifications 
mounted with wooden guns, and the village of Manassas 
burned to the ground. 

The roads were terrible, and it being found impossible to 
forward provisions so far in advance, we were moved back to 

Fairfax Station, where we encamped in a grove in the midst 



of a pitiless rain storm. The horses were knee-deep in mud, 
and without forage. Soon after we were ordered back to 
Union Mills in the night, and the railroad having been re- 
paired, so that supplies could be forwarded, the greater part 
of the regiment remained on the plains of Manassas with Gen. 
Howard, occupying the deserted rebel huts. Here we re- 
mained ten days. 

On the 28th we moved forward in advance of a strong re- 
connoisance under Gen. Howard, and drove a considerable 
force of rebels, who burned a large quantity of forage and 
stores to prevent their falling into our hands. We retraced 
our steps to Warrenton on the next day, and found that our 
Adjutant, Lumbard, Sergeant Major Rays worth, and three 
privates of our force, were missing. We moved back over 
the ground next day in search of them, and found that they 
had been captured in a house at which they had stopped, after 
making a lively resistance, in which one of their number was 

On the 31st scouts came in, reporting the advance of a 
brigade of rebel cavalry. Our regiment started out to attack 
them, when, much to our annoyance, they proved to be a party 
of our own regiment, loaded with bundles of hay. 

April 2d our scouting parties had a lively skirmish with a 
force of rebels, wounding several of them. Lieut. Ilotop, 
while alone in advance, narrowly escaped capture by a display 
of great gallantry. 

April 7 th the third battalion of our regiment, under Major 
Dustin, with five companies of infantry and two pieces of ar- 
tillery, were ordered forward on a mission which we understood 
to be a surprise upon the enemy. Col. Lucas was in command 
of the expedition, but lost his road; and arriving late at the 
Rappahannock, we drove some rebels across, and threw some 
shells into their fortifications, scattering them, when we re- 
turned to our camp in a drenching rain, and with roads almost 

During the previous two weeks McGlellan's grand strategic 


movement on Richmond, by way of the peninsula, had com- 
menced, and we who had been retained as a kind of rear guard 
were now ordered back to Alexandria, to embark for the pe- 

The march to Alexandria was one of the most difficult in 
our experience. We were everywhere surrounded by streams 
swollen by the long-continued rains till they had become im- 
passable torrents. The bridge at Cedar Run had been burned 
by the enemy, but we connected a few floating timbers, so 
that, by unremitting labor, we got our numerous sick men 
across, and then the regiment was marched to the Junction, 
where the stream was forded with difficulty ; and we proceeded 
as far as Owl Run, which we found could only be crossed by 
swimming. A part had succeeded in gaining the opposite 
shore, when Lt. Col. Gamble gave the order to countermarch, 
as it was impossible to get our baggage across, and dangerous 
for the troops. The scene of a thousand horsemen floundering 
in the turbid water of a rapid and dangerous stream was one 
that we never desired to see again. Back we turned to our 
former camp, which we reached as the rain had turned into 
snow, and in the midst of darkness. To add to our discom- 
forts, we found that the slight means of shelter which we had 
there provided, by piling up logs, driving stakes and fastening 
on them our rubber blankets, had been appropriated by other 
troops, and nothing but destitution greeted us. We built 
fires with difficulty, gathered snow to make coffee, and sat up 
all night, trying to dry our clothiug. Notwithstanding our 
desperate situation, which was increased by our being short 
of rations, an universal shout of joy went up when we received 
the news of the capture of Island No. 10, and we were in- 
spired with fresh courage. Next day the storm still raged, 
and weary and exhausted, with scanty rations and no shelter 
but our blankets, the horses shivering as if they would fall in 
pieces, our distress was extreme. 

On the 10th we started again, and by another road. After 
narrowly escaping drowning in Broad Run, we reached the 


old Bull Run battle-field, but finding that stream still too 
dangerous to cross, we encamped on that memorable ground, 
amid the bleaching bones of our fallen braves. Next day, 
after several abortive efforts to cross, we found a rickety 
bridge, over which we passed, and moving through Centreville 
and Fairfax C. II., reached Alexandria. It was just one 
month since we started out, with good health, high spirits and 
admirable equipments. We had marched hundreds of miles, 
endured untold hardships, and now returned, jaded and ex- 
hausted, two hundred less in number. 

In Alexandria Ave took our old quarters, and commenced 
to recruit, preparatory to our peninsula campaign. Here we 
again had difficulty with the new Military Governor, Col. 
Viele, an abusive, intemperate man, which was ended by Col. 
Farnsworth ordering his guard to shoot him if he attempted 
to abuse or interfere with his command. 

On the 24th our regiment embarked for the voyage to the 
peninsula. Two steamboats, one steam tug, and twenty 
transports were required for our conveyance, and we made a 
large fleet by ourselves. Anchoring each night for greater 
safety, it was not till the 27th that we arrived at Shipping 
Point, our place of disembarkation, where an immense fleet 
of all kinds of vessels made a scene of life and animation 
long to be remembered. Our turn to land did not come till 
the 29th, and was not completed till the 1st of May. The 
horses were pushed overboard and swam ashore, and the stores 
and men passed on a dock formed of canal boats. The coun- 
try was all low, and the water we used came from springs 
that were overflown at high tide. It was very poor and 
brackish, and numerous cases of diarrhoea were caused by it 
among our men. 

The army was now stretched across the narrow peninsula, 
between the 'York and James rivers, besieonno- Yorktown. 
Zig-zag trenches were dug at night, in which our men lay 
during the day, and earthworks were constructed at intervals, 
mounted with heavy guns. The cannonading was constant 


and terrific. We were attached to Gen. Richardson's division, 
of Sumner's Corps. 

On the morning of May 4th the enemy evacuated York- 
town, and our regiment was soon in pursuit. We passed 
among their frowning earthworks, where hidden torpedoes, 
left by the base foe, occasionally exploded, killing and wound- 
ing some of our army, and where the ground was strewn with 
overcoats, which our infantry, owing to the heat, had thrown 
away. Pushing forward over muddy roads, we were formed 
for battle at Lebanon Church, where our advance cavalry, — 
a regular regiment under Stoneman, — had been ambushed 
and repulsed. But we were soon ordered back to make way 
for artillery and infantry, who engaged the enemy. At night 
Lebanon Church was full of those of the wounded who had 
not fallen into the hands of the foe, and our medical staff 
spent the night in operating on them, the surgeon properly in 
charge being intoxicated and incapable. 

Next day, May 5th, occurred the famous battle of Wil- 
liamsburg, in which, after long and desperate fighting, Hook- 
er's gallant corps, reinforced after long delay by Kearney, 
drove the enemy from their thickly wooded position, and 
cleared the way to Richmond. But alas, our advantage was 
not vigorously followed up. Cavalry not being suited to this 
battle, we were in the rear. One company was employed in 
overturning army wagons to permit the advance of Kearney; 
and in the afternoon we were moved, to the right of the line, 
where the balls from Magruder's batteries came tearing in 
among us. Hancock's grand charge finally put an end to the 
fight, and moving back, we encamped for the night. Our 
horses, without food for two days, were very restive, and, 
breaking their fastenings, ran frantically about. Every 
building was filled with wounded, whose shrieks could be heard 
over the sound of the raging storm. It was a fearful night. 

Early next morning we advanced over the battle-field, 
among the piles of dead, and occupied Williamsburg. The 
medical director was without bandages and dressings for the 


wounded, the supply not having come up, and was in great 
distress for want of them. We supplied him from the stores 
packed for us by the good ladies of St. Charles, and their 
bounty no doubt saved many valuable lives. Lieutenant and 
Commissary Chamberlain, and three of our men, were here 
captured, while out in search of forage, and for years after 
suffered the horrors of Libby prison. 

The army remained four days inactive, and our regiment 
was employed in scouting, capturing many prisoners. 

On the 9th we advanced five miles, and were just going 
into camp when we were ordered to the relief of Gen. Stone- 
man, who, with one regiment, was twenty miles in advance. 
It was a terribly weary and exhausting night march. 

Next day we moved to New Kent, were divided into two 
columns, and one under Col. Farnsworth had a sharp skirmish 
with the enemy, who retreated. The other, under Lieut. Col. 
Gamble, also encountered the rebels, and drove them, without 
loss. On the 11th a part of our regiment moved forward, 
and drew the fire of rebel batteries, and on the 13th reached 
the "White House," on the Pamunkey. 

The infantry in immense numbers now came up, and we 
moved to Black Creek, where Ave remained till the 17th, the 
entire army delayed for want of a bridge over that stream. 
The West Point engineers had taken a survey of the spot, 
made a profile view of the structure to be erected, with esti- 
mates, etc., and had sent this to headquarters for approval. 
When Col. Farnsworth learned the cause of delay, he went to 
Gen. Stoneman's headquarters, and learned that several days 
would yet be consumed in constructing the bridge. "With 
my Western boys I can build a bridge in six hours," said 
Col. Farnsworth. "Will you do it?" said Gen. Stoneman; 
"if you will, take all the men 37011 can use.'' "I want no 
men but my own regiment," said Col. Farnsworth. 

In two hours and a-half a squad of our 8th Illinois Cavalry 
had constructed a substantial bridge of logs, over which we 
passed, and soon captured some prisoners. Stoneman's troops 


followed, and ho immediately sent Avord back to (Jen. McClel- 
lan that he was beyond Black Creek, and moving on to Rich- 
mond. The whole army crossed without difficulty, but the 
engineers, who soon after arrived, were incensed because they 
had not been permitted to construct the bridge according to 
the rules of their profession. 

On the 19th we advanced to Coal Harbor, driving the rebel 
cavalry before us. The First Battalion, under Major Clen- 
denin, near here captured eighty-five mules and horses, with 
ten loaded wagons. Many negroes joined us. The better 
class of whites had fled, and the poorer were so abject and 
ignorant as to be objects of pity. 

On the 20th the 6th U. S. Cavalry, which had just arrived, 
took the advance which we had previously held, and, advanc- 
ing without the precaution of throwing out skirmishers, they 
were ambushed, and had several killed and wounded. Our 
regiment moved forward to the scene of conflict, and encamped 
at Gaines' Mill. On the 21st Companies E and K had a 
smart skirmish with the enemy, driving them still nearer to 
Richmond. On the 23d all advanced with Gen. Smith's di- 
vision till within six miles of Richmond, when a rebel battery 
opened on us and scattered shell among us, killing some horses, 
but fortunately none of our men. One of our batteries came 
up and silenced the rebel artillery. Our men stood to horse 
all of that niarlit. 

May 24th occurred the battle of Mcchanicsville. This 
village is five miles from Richmond, a half-mile north of the 
Chickahominy. The fight was a desperate one, and the little 
village was almost torn in pieces. Our Second Battalion, 
under Major Dustin, supported both flanks, and the remainder 
of the regiment were engaged in picket duty. After the rebs 
were driven across the river, Capt. Rapelje, with Company 1, 
performed the perilous task of destroying the bridge by which 
they crossed. Four of our men chopped off its timbers, and 
escaped unharmed, although rapidly fired upon by the enemy's 
sharp-shooters. The First Battalion destroyed a portion of 


the railroad and burned a bridge, and in an encounter with 
rebel cavalry killed and wounded several. The rebels seemed 
to fear our carbines, which were more efficient than theirs. 

We were now in sight of Richmond, distant five or six 
miles, and the Chickahominy was the dividing line between 
the forces. A large number of our regiment were now em- 
ployed as orderlies and scouts under Gen. Keys. On the 
11 th we captured fourteen rebels, without losing a man. On 
the 23d another advance of our army brought on an engage- 
ment, in which the enemy were forced back beyond Savage 
Station. The line of our army was now about ten miles in 
length, crossing the Chickahominy, which here ran south- 
easterly, and the 8th occupied the right flank. On the 27th 
Fitz John Porter's Corps moved toward Hanover C. H., and 
had a severe engagement. We followed in supporting dis- 
tance, and captured a train of cars trying to escape from 
Hanover to Richmond. We ran it up the road some distance, 
to reconnoiter, then returned and burned it. We tore up the 
road, — the Virginia Central, — and then were ordered in the 
thick darkness of the night to proceed ten miles to the Rich- 
mond and Potomac road, and destroy that. In the murky 
darkness, without guide or compass, we soon came upon the 
rebel pickets. We had been ordered not to fire, but capture 
pickets if possible; but soon they fired on us, roused their 
camp, and we were forced to retire from our perilous expedi- 
tion. We slept in the storm beside our saddled horses, several 
miles in advance of the main army, and only escaped capture 
by good luck. 

Our regiment now guarded the right wing of the army for 
ten miles along the Chickahominy and the Virginia Central 
Railroad, having picket stations and reserves at various points. 

On the 31st and the following day was fought the battle of 
Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines; On the morning of the 31st 
Major Beveridge crossed the Chickahominy to take command 
of his battalion on that side of the stream, but before joining 
his men heard rapid firing, and advancing, found Gen. Carey's 


troops fulling back before an impetuous attack of overpowering 
numbers, and Gen. Keys advancing to their support. lie 
supported Gen. Keys, and was directed to keep liis men well 
in hand, and as near him as possible. Companies D and F 
acted as orderlies, were much exposed, and highly compli- 
mented for their bravery. Two were killed and one wounded. 
These companies lost all of their clothing, camp equipage and 
stores. The loss to our army in this terrible battle was 5739 ; 
the enemy acknowledged a loss of 4233. Reinforcements 
enabled us next day to remain victors of the field. 

Our boys, while on this picket line, kept up a lively trade 
with the ignorant people of the country, who were anxious to 
get Confederate currency, but would not take greenbacks. 
Our boys got hold of a supply of the rebel currency, and 
lived high upon their purchases with it. Capt. E. J. Farns- 
worth one day gave a splendid dinner party at his picket post, 
which was an elegant mansion, splendidly furnished, and 
where all the luxuries of high life, together with costly wines, 
were served up by colored waiters ; and the Captain subse- 
quently took his guests back to their stations in elegant car- 

Gen. Sumner's opinion of the daring of our boys may be 
learned from the following incident: 

A Lieutenant commanding a New York battalion was or- 
dered to go to the front, and if possible ascertain the position 
of the enemy. "How far shall I go?" said he. "As far as 
you dare go," was the reply; "and you will there find the 
boys of the 8th Illinois miles ahead, stealing horses !" 

On the night of June 3d our army repulsed a severe assault 
of the enemy, hi which our regiment was engaged, but with- 
out loss. 

The news-boys circulated frequently among our men, selling 
New York dailies at twenty-five cents each, filled with rumors 
of a grand advance, and the speedy capture of Richmond, 
but no advance was made. 

Passing the battle-ground of Fair Oaks on June 10th, we 


found hundreds of the rebel dead festering in the hot sun, 
and the steneh from their bodies was intolerable. The rebel 
prisoners had been ordered to bury them, but had thrown only 
a few shovelsfull of earth on them, and this had been washed 
away by the rains, leaving them exposed and putrefying, — a 
horrible sight. 

Our army had now lain nearly a month in about the same 
position, fighting some terrible battles, but gaining no marked 
advantage. Supplies were with difficulty brought from the 
White House, twenty-five miles distant. Stonewall Jackson, 
victorious in the Shenandoah, had now returned to the defence 
of Richmond. 

On June 26th occurred the memorable second battle of 
Mechanicsville, and the first of the famous seven-days fight, 
in which the army, cut oif from its base of supplies at the 
White House, executed a change of base to the James River, 
at Harrison's Landing, — a movement among the most import- 
ant of the war. Upon the morning of this day, Major Dus- 
tin's battalion was on picket duty, with reserve posts at Atlee's 
Station, Mrs. Crenshaw's farm, Shady Grove Church, and 
the Cross Roads; and at an early hour the Major, in company 
with Captain Hooker and Orderly Armsby, left Atlee's Sta- 
tion, and after visiting Company II, rode beyond the videttes 
toward Hanover C. II. Half a mile on they passed through 
a gateway toward a farm-house, then, starting to return, they 
were fired on by what proved to be the advance guard of the 
rebel army, in ambush. Captain Hooker was shot through 
the body, but clinging with difficulty to his horse, the party 
endeavored to reach the reserve post by a circuitous route. 
After gaining about half the distance, his strength failed, and 
he was assisted to dismount. Major Dustin ministered to his 
wants as well as he was able, but despairing of getting him 
within our lines, and knowing that his duty required him to 
reach his command as soon as possible, he told the suffering 
man that he must leave him. But in vain the Major urged 
his imperative duty to his battalion. "Oh, Major!" he cried, 


"• I would not leave you if you were in my situation." Prom- 
ising to return for him, if possible, Major Dustin hurried back 
to the Cross Roads, ordered out a line of skirmishers, and 
sent men to bring in the wounded Captain. But the enemy 
advanced so rapidly that this was found impossible. The 
Captain fell into the enemy's hands, and was placed in charge 
of a Dr. Overton of that neighborhood, and died soon after. 
Thus the 8th Illinois received the first fire and made the first 
mortal sacrifice in the memorable seven-days battles. 

Most of this country is traversed by small streams, running 
into the Chickahominy, and lined with swamps thickly covered 
with timber and underbrush. The roads, running parallel 
with the main river, thus crossed alternate woods and open 
farms. Our pickets were thrown out at the edge of the woods 
and swamps, to watch the approaches of the enemy. The 
men of Companies C, G, and II, thus thrown out, sent many 
a leaden messenger of death into the ranks of the foe as they 
slowly advanced, and the other companies on the other roads 
pursued the same course, as all retired before the advancing 
army, also falling trees to retard their march. By noon the 
infantry had reached the front and engaged the enemy, retard- 
ing their further approach till three o'clock. 

Company B was on the road leading to Pole Green Church, 
and vigorously resisted the approach of the enemy, in which 
resistance William Chambers was shot through the heart ; but 
one of his comrades instantly avenged his death by shooting 
his adversary. This man's horse was now killed and he se- 
verely injured by the fall, and reported killed. As the rebels 
advanced he adroitly counterfeited death till the rebels passed ; 
then arose, and escaped to our lines. As our regiment was 
drawn up in line awaiting orders, we were surprised at the 
appearance of the venerable ex-Governor John Wood, of Ill- 
inois, who, equipped in captured rebel accoutrements, contin- 
ued with us during all the long and memorable series of en- 
gagements, exposing himself to the bullets of the enemy, and 
cheering us by his courage and devotion. 


We were soon ordered to support a battery near Pole 
Green Church, but the expected enemy did not attack us, but 
directed their attacks to Mcchanicsville, where the fighting 
was terrific, and our troops gradually gave way before superior 
numbers. They were finally stopped for the night by a stub- 
born resistance near Beaver Dam Creek, in which the slaugh- 
tered rebels were piled in heaps, and the fight did not cease 
till nine o'clock at night. A little before dark our position 
became critical; a cannon ball struck the anvil of McGregor, 
our old Scotch blacksmith, our camp was broken up, our hos- 
pital evacuated, and with one ambulance, a two-wheeled cart, 
and one army wagon as our only means of transportation, we 
loaded in such of our numerous sick ones as were unable to 
walk, and moved four miles across the creek, near Gaines' 
mill. Before our hospital was cleared of its sick, a cannon 
ball had struck it and shattered it severely. 

Early next morning wc shipped our sick and wounded to 
White House Landing, on the last train that passed over the 
road before that base of supplies was captured. 

Next day occurred the battle of Gaines' mill. Our forces 
were admirably posted, and long and bravely resisted the 
enemy. But Stonewall Jackson's forces came up in the after- 
noon, with his fresh troops, and our reserves under General 
Slocum were advanced, and for the time drove back the foe : 
but fresh columns of rebel troops were pushed forward; our 
lines became thinner and weaker; thousands of wounded and 
stragglers poured to the rear, and the day seemed lost. 
Colonel Farnsworth now formed our regiment across the 
field, and ordered that none but the wounded be permitted to 
pass. AVe soon had a compact line formed, and they moved 
forward, cheering, with but the bayonet as a defence, and 
held the ground till darkness put an end to the carnage. 

Detachments of our regiment under Captain Kelly and 
Lieutenant W. M. Taylor had been sent out, and had severe 
skirmishes with the enemy, succeeding in destroying our sup- 
plies to prevent their capture. 


In the morning of the 28th we found the railroad had been 
cut in our rear. A train loaded with wounded was being 
unloaded and laid on the ground, covering several acres, and 
our regiment was ordered to take the advance in the retreat 
to Harrison's Landing. We selected our own wounded, and 
placed them in ambulances, but were forced to deny the re- 
quest of hundreds of poor fellows who piteously begged to be 
taken with us, so that they should not fall into the hands of 
the enemy. 

General McClellan, now desiring to prevent our immense 
accumulation of stores at the White House from falling into 
the hands of the foe, sent to our regiment for three discreet 
men to penetrate to that point, through the intervening coun- 
try now occupied by the enemy, and bear orders for their 
destruction. Colonel Farnsworth selected Sergeant Bushnell, 
Private Beckwith, and another of our men, who, guided only 
by the stars and a pocket compass, swam the Chickahominy, 
threaded the forest, and after an arduous and dangerous night 
march, reached the White House in safety, and delivered 
their message. The sick and wounded were speedily placed 
on steamers, millions of dollars' worth of stores were loaded 
upon transports, and millions more committed to the flames, 
just as the enemy's advance, who had counted much upon 
their capture, made its appearance. 

Now commenced our disastrous retreat through White Oak 
Swamp. Wagon trains, ambulances, artillery, infantry, and 
cavalry, crowded every road and path through field and forest. 
All day and through the night the teamsters struggled and 
worked to get their loads through the mud, and over the one 
rickety bridge, while the wounded hobbled along, — a terrible 
procession. On this afternoon occurred the battle at Savage 
Station by our forces, under General Sumner, who covered 
our rear. Dense clouds of smoke and terrific explosions in- 
dicated the destruction of our stores at that point. 

Next day our regiment was ordered by General Keys to 
conduct a train of seventy ambulances and many hundreds of 


wagons, loaded with wounded, to James River. They were 
loaded to their utmost capacity, while hundreds of sick and 
wounded hobbled along beside them, begging and beseeching 
to be permitted to ride. All through that dreadful night we 
moved on ; harrassed by squads of rebel cavalry on our flanks, 
disputing our advance; forbidden to light even a lantern, lest 
we make a mark for the enemy; lighted on our road only by 
flashes of lightning, whose peals of thunder, mingled with the 
roar of the rebel artillery in our rear, added intensity to its 
horrors; often forced to dismount and pull the exhausted and 
Avounded from under our horses' hoofs, where they had sunk 
upon the road, too much exhausted to crawl out from beneath 
the wheels of the train. The horrors of that dreadful night 
will never be known till those swamps give up their dead who 
sank that night to rise no more. 

About three o'clock next morning we reached the James 
River, near Ilaxall's Landing. The teams were driven into 
some wheat fields, and the tired drivers sank down for a brief 

Soon after General McClellan arrived, and went on board 
the gunboat Galena. Mrs. Fogg, an agent of the Sanitary 
Commission, who had occupied with Mrs. General Richardson 
one of our ambulances, and embarrassed us by their shrieks 
of terror on the march, now proceeded to use up the delicacies 
of the commission in a nice breakfast for themselves and some 
of the officers, while the wounded, fed on hard-tack and coffee, 
looked hungrily on. 

A severe cannonading, heard in our rear on this day, we 
afterwards learned was caused by a contest Avith the enemy, 
known as the battle of Glcndale, or Frazer's farm, and said 
to be the severest fight since Gaines' mill. The enemy was 
repulsed, but our retreat was still continued. 

The commander of the gunboats concluding from the steep- 
ness of the banks of the river at this point that he could not 
protect us with his guns, we now moved down eight miles to 
Harrison's bar, through a country full of waving wheat fields, 


and rich in fruit and other resources. We occupied the Har- 
rison mansion for our hospital, and soon had two hundred of 
the wounded within, and the fields around strewn with thous- 
ands, tortured as much with hunger as with wounds. We 
soon found a half-dozen beef cattle, slaughtered them, hunted 
up kettles, made soup, and distributed it with hard-tack to the 
famishing men. Soon two steamboats from the White House 
arrived, with fifteen surgeons and six cooks, and the wounded 
were transferred to the hospital boats. During this day the 
roar of the battle of Malvern Hill was heard at our landing, 
and the Avounded still came pouring in upon us, all day and 
the night following. The rain fell in torrents, making mud 
unfathomable, but relieving the distresses of the thirsty men. 

Up to July 4th our camp was in the utmost confusion, but 
the wounded having been mostly sent off, some order was res- 
tored, our camp was fortified, and we had time to take a long 

The camp having become more systematized, the regiment 
was moved out about four miles, and kept busy in picketing 
and arranging the lines, while a number of our men Avere cm- 
ployed as orderlies, carrying dispatches both by day and by 
night. In collisions with rebel scouts about this time several 
were wounded. General Farnsworth, suffering severely from 
a diseased leg, received leave of absence on the 8th of July, 
and Major Clendcnin took command. Some dissatisfaction 
bad occurred between members and officers of the regiment, 
and several officers resigned, among them Adjutant Gifford, 
Captain Dana, Chaplain Matlack, and Captain Cleveland, 
whose loss was deeply regretted by most, if not all, of the 
regiment. A great many fell sick with dysentery and kindred 

On the 20th a large detachment of the regiment, under 
Majors Beveridge and Clendcnin, proceeded toward Malvern 
Hill, driving the rebel pickets and drawing their artillery fire. 
Sylvanus Brott had his horse killed under him, and was 
wounded by a fragment of shell. 


On the 22d another rcconnoisance of the rebels' position on 
Malvern Hill was made by two detachments under Major 
Beveridgc and Captain Waite, in which four of our men were 
Avoundcd. On the next day Clendenin drew the enemy into 
an ambush, and, getting a cross-fire on them, emptied many 
of their saddles, and sent them flying in retreat, when a large 
force of rebel cavalry approaching, our regiment returned to 

On August 2d we reported to General Hooker, and moved 
out with a large force to repel an expected attack of the enemy ; 
hut the expected foe did not approach. Next day Companies 
II and K penetrated far into the enemy's lines in the neigh- 
borhood of Malvern Hill, and some of our men, disguised, 
entered houses, and from their inmates gained important in- 
formation about the position of the rebels' pickets. 

On the 5th a large force under Hooker, Sedgwick, Kearney 
and Couch, captured Malvern Hill, the rebels escaping by a 
road unknown to our forces. When their escape was discov- 
ered, our regiment charged on their rear. The rebel cavalry 
broke and fled, but the infantry poured on us a severe volley, 
killing Sergeant Moss, of Company L, Duggan, of Company 
C, and severely w T ounding Lieutenant Colonel Gamble and 
four of our men. We captured seventy-five prisoners. 

A detachment of our forces under Captain Forsythe had a 
sharp encounter with rebels about this time, and soon after 
Sergeant John A. Kinley, Ira Kcnnicott and Ira Pettys pen- 
etrated the rebel lines to reconnoitcr. They were detected 
while climbing trees to get a good look-out, and the rebels 
advanced in line of battle, supposing there was a large force. 
They escaped barefooted, and without their coats and arms, 
after obtaining valuable information, but were very closely 

Soon after our capture of Malvern Hill our army retreated 
from Harrison's Landing to Yorktown, the 8th bringing up 
the rear. The boys had been terribly irritated by McClellan's 
policy of protecting rebel property, especially by being forced 


to protect the property of one Bill Carter, living in that vi 
cinity, who had two sons fighting us in the rebel army, while 
his 1200 bushels of corn and fat horses were protected, and 
our horses were sometimes starving. When we left, by some 
mysterious stratagem, three of Carter's horses went with us, 
and did excellent service for us for a year after. 

The army crossed the Chickahominy near its mouth, the 
8th Illinois being the last regiment to cross, then passed 
gloomily through Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, — 
the ground we had gained at such a fearful cost, — and on the 
30th of August took shipping for Alexandria, where we ar- 
rived on the 1st and 2d of September. 

The rebels' main army was now advancing rapidly on 
Washington, hoping to overpower our forces under General 
Pope, and capture our National Capital. The second disas- 
trous battle of Bull Run, and the subsequent one at Chantilly, 
were fought while we were in transit to Alexandria. 

All was dismay. Treachery among our Generals, and tri- 
umph on the part of the rebels, seemed to be leading us to 
immediate ruin. 

General Farnsworth joined us at Alexandria, with several 
new recruits, and we were at once ordered to Munson's Hill? 
where we performed duty as videttes and scouts. On the 2d 
and 3d we skirmished with the rebel advance, and had some 
men wounded. On the night of the 4th, as we were lying 
down on the ground, Ave received orders to march; passed 
across the Potomac, through Washington and Tenallytown on 
the north, and, marching all night, reached Darnestown, 
Maryland, at 10 o'clock A. M. But we were at once ordered 
out on a scout, although we had marched forty-six miles with- 
out food for ourselves or horses. 

The rebels had gone up the Potomac, and were making 

dashes into Maryland, and it was our duty to repel them. 

The 3d Indiana Cavalry, — a splendid regiment, admirably 

mounted, each man furnishing and owning his horse, — here 

became associated with us, and during a long subsequent 

campaign became to us like brothers. 


On the 7th a detachment of our regiment under Captain 
Farnsworth, — the model of the daring cavalry officer, — dashed 
into Poolesville, and captured two rebels with their accoutre- 

Major Dustin, who had been absent at home, and while 
there had been chosen Colonel of the 105th Infantry, now 
returned to take leave of his regiment. Colonel Farnsworth 
was put in command of the Cavalry Brigade, and Major 
Medill assumed the command of our regiment. 

On the next day our brigade moved into Poolesville, after 
a severe fight, in which the enemy were driven from the field, 
leaving eight dead and twenty wounded. 

On the 9th we moved toward Barnesville in detachments. 
One, under Captain Farnsworth, dashed upon the 0th Virginia 
Cavalry, drove them, and charging furiously upon them in 
their retreat, killed some of their horses, whose falling bodies, 
undistinguishable amid the clouds of dust, brought pursuers 
and pursued together in heaps upon the road. We captured 
eight prisoners and the rebel colors. On another road an- 
other detachment under Captain Kelley drove the rebels two 
miles beyond Barnesville, capturing thirteen prisoners. On 
this charge it is related that Corporal George M. Roe, of 
Company B, mounted on a splendid horse, Avell known in 
Shabbona, in this County, as "Lamkin's Billy," and sold for 
incurable viciousness, dashed uncontrollable beyond a party 
of rebels, and when he finally was stopped, and the four gray- 
backs approached, with revolver in hand Roe demanded their 
surrender. One moved to get out his pistol, and Roc shot 
him ; then, covering the others with his revolver, he held them 
in the road till Captain Kelly's company coming up, they 
were all taken prisoners. Captain Kelly had a personal en- 
counter with a rebel Lieutenant Williams, and gave him a 
mortal wound. 

Our regiment halted at Barnesville, when the rebs again 
advanced upon our men, who were drawn up to receive them. 
Our artillery in the rear scattered them. One shot took off 


the nose of the horse on which Solomon Jewell, of our regi 
raent, was seated. 

On the 12th we marched in a severe storm to Frederick 
City, meeting General Banks' Corps on the way, and encamped 
in sight of rebel camp-fires on the neighboring hills. 

Moving forward again next day, we found the pass in the 
mountains defended by the enemy's artillery, and an encounter 
with our artillery and infantry lasted till noon, but ended in 
the rout of the foe, when our cavalry dashed forward in pur- 
suit. We dashed on to Middletown, where the rebs burned a 
bridge to impede our pursuit, and where the people received 
us joyfully, supplying us with refreshments. We forded the 
river, and again came up with them near South Mountain. 
A detachment under Major Medill went out on the Harper's 
Ferry road, and had a fight with a very superior force, in 
which we lost eight men wounded, and the 3d Indiana lost 
many more. F. B. Wakefield, of Company Gr, was captured 
by a party of rebels, who subsequently attempted to kill him 
by sabre cuts on his head. They left him for dead, but he 
subsequently returned to our lines and recovered; but in his 
subsequent career he amply avenged this brutal treatment. 

On the 14th occurred the memorable battle of South Moun- 
tain, fought among mountain fastnesses, where cavalry could 
not be used. Posted in the rear, we watched the varying 
issues of the conflict with eager interest; and when at dusk 
Hooker's Corps gained the crest of the mountain, and put the 
foe to flight, we shouted with glad joy. Next day the enemy 
retreated, and we followed in pursuit, passing where every 
house, barn and shed was filled with neglected wounded men. 

At Boonsboro a cavalry brigade under Fitz Hugh Lee 
made a stand. Colonel Farnsworth ordered a charge, and so 
impetuous was it that the enemy broke and fled. Several 
times they attempted to rally and form a new line, but our 
pursuit was too sharp. For two or three miles we kept up a 
hand-to-hand fight, in which great gallantry was displayed by 
both sides, and we finally scattered them among fields and 
woods, where they could not be followed. 


Pa^es might be filled with incidents of thrilling interest 
and daring displayed on this charge. One member of Com- 
pany B shot down a rebel who had his sabre uplifted in the 
act of striking down Colonel Farnsworth, while the Colonel 
was chasing another rebel, whom he shot from his horse. Fitz 
Huo-h Lee was unhorsed, and escaped in a cornfield. We had 
twenty-four killed and wounded: among the latter was Cap- 
tain Kelly. 

At another point on this day four men of the 8th Illinois — 
Brown, Morris and Maccham, under command of Sergeant 
W. A. Spencer — captured a rebel picket post of fourteen men, 
beside taking several other straggling rebels, all fully armed 
and equipped. The whole number captured that day by this 
detachment of the 8th Illinois alone was about five hundred. 
The history of the war furnishes no instance of a more bril- 
liant or more successful cavalry charge, nor of one that re- 
flected more honor upon this branch of our service. 

On the 17th, our immense army having come up, the battle 
of Antietam commenced. We were ordered across the stone 
bridge over Antietam creek, to support Robinson's battery, 
which we crossed under a terrible fire, and were sheltered 
somewhat in a shallow ravine, over which the balls of both 
armies were flying. The armies swayed to and fro over a 
field which was repeatedly won and lost, and which was soon 
thickly strewn with the dead and dying. At the lower bridge, 
where Burnside was engaged, the slaughter was still more 
fearful. Night closed in, and we thought our army had won 
the battle. 

Next morning, to our astonishment, no orders came for a 
renewal of the fight. In the afternoon our surgeons attempted 
to relieve the distresses of the wounded in a lane near by — to 
moisten their lips with a little water — but the rebels fired on 
them, and forced them to retire. As they left the field the 
wounded set up such a terrible wail of despair that the recol- 
lection of it has ever since haunted those of us who heard it. 
When they next visited the ground not one was found alive. 


From this lane, eighty rods in length, nearly one thousand 
dead bodies were buried. 

On the 19th we received orders to advance, but the enemy 
had escaped across the Potomac, with all their stores. 

On the 20th we crossed the Potomac at Shepardstown, but 
while fording the stream received orders to return, for the 
enemy soon approached, and a heavy artillery fire was kept 
up across the river. 

We now lay quiet several days, — a much-needed rest. 

On the 25th, under command of Colonel Farnsworth, we 
made a reconnoisance across the river, driving the rebels from 
Shepardstown, and capturing several prisoners of rank ; and 
on the 29th we participated in another reconnoisance in force, 
under command of General Pleasanton. 

On the 30th a squadron under Captain Waite made a dash 
into Shepardstown, and had a lively skirmish. Soon after 
we dashed into Martinsburg, after driving the rebs with our 
cavalry and artillery for several miles, and capturing a num- 
ber of prisoners. 

We were now far into the enemy's country, had gained 
valuable information, and soon learned from a Union man 
that the rebel commander was moving his army with the view 
of capturing our whole force. 

The 8th Illinois, under Major Medill, acted as rear guard 
on our return ; and as we left the town the streets were com- 
pletely filled with rebel cavalry, who poured in after us. Our 
artillery held them in check, but they advanced on each side 
of the road and in our rear. Our men, now thoroughly dis- 
ciplined by long service, behaved splendidly, and were highly 
praised, both by our superior officers and by the rebels. 
Some of our men were captured and paroled by the rebels. 
The rebel General J. E. B. Stuart told them that he knew 
that he was fighting the 8th Illinois, by the vigor and courage 
Avith which they resisted his charges; that he knew no good 
reason why he had not captured them; that they called the 
8th Illinois the best, and the 3d Indiana the next best, cavalry 


regiments in the federal army. One rebel officer sent his 
compliments to Captain Clark, saying that he liked his style, 
but that saucy little cuss with him (Captain Waite) was a very 

After a long and perilous retreat night came on, and our 
little band of 800 men escaped in the darkness. Official re- 
ports showed the enemy's loss to be one hundred and fifty 
men. Our regiment lost twelve wounded and four captured. 

On the 3d of October occurred one of McClellan's grand 
reviews, President Lincoln being present. 

On the 11th we were ordered in pursuit of Stuart's cavalry, 
who had started on a raid around the rear of our army. 
General Pleasanton accompanied us, and Captain Clark was 
in command of that portion of our regiment that was in con- 
dition to move. We passed through llagarstown to Williams- 
port, then back to llagarstown, then along the base of the 
Blue Ridge, then over it, and down into the valley of Mono- 
cacy to Mechanicsville. On Ave rode at a brisk pace all night, 
passing through Frederick City, to the mouth of Monocacy 
river, where, at nine o'clock, we found the rear guard of the 
confederates. They had captured at Chambersbury a large 
amount of our army clothing, and immediately exchanged it 
for their rags, thus deceiving our men. Captain Forsythe, 
with a few men, overtook a company of them, and on demand- 
ing who they were, was answered by a shower of bullets. 
There was a lively skirmish, and some of them were captured. 
But Stuart, with his main force, had escaped across the Poto- 
mac, with several hundred stolen horses. 

We lay down in a field of grain, utterly exhausted, having 
ridden eighty-six miles in twenty-six hours, which was, per- 
haps, the best marching made by any command during the 
war; but we were depressed by our want of success. The 
mistake was in sending us after the great raider, instead of 
trying to intercept him. We marched back to our camp, and 
next day, without a day of rest, we were moved to Knoxville. 

On the 17th Major Beveridge arrived, and relieved Major 


Medill, who had been in command during the whole Maryland 

On the 27th, after a delay of a month since the great battle 
of Antietam, the army crossed into Virginia, and Ave, in ad- 
vance, drove the rebels into Purcellville, capturing three. 
This section of country was thoroughly foraged during our 
stay, and those secessionists who supposed we came there to 
protect their pigs and poultry were thoroughly undeceived. 

By November 1st most of our infantry had arrived, and, 
as van-guard of a mighty army, we moved along the eastern 
base of the Blue Ridge. 

Next day we had a severe artillery and cavalry fight for 
several hours, near Uniontown. Samuel McGowcll, of Com- 
pany A, was killed by a cannon ball, but so well trained were 
the horses that his riderless horse did not move out of rank, 
but continued to move with his squadron. 

We next day moved forward, skirmishing sharply all day, 
to Ashby's Gap, where the rebels thought themselves secure, 
and on November 5th had a severe engagement near Barber's 
Cross Roads. Companies B and E made a brave assault on 
the rebel batteries, but they were defended by barricades of 
rails, and, not being supported by sufficient force, they with- 
drew. Desperate fighting, — charge and counter-charge, — 
followed, but the rebels finally fled, leaving many wounded 
and prisoners in our hands. William Mace and John Brown, 
of our regiment, were killed, and Josiah Richardson, Charles 
Plant, George S. Sager, B. F. Homer, E. II. Burdick, Mar- 
tin Fancher, James McConncll, and Harrison Hoker, most of 
them De Kalb County men, were wounded. 

The army moved on next day, leaving the wounded, some 
thirty in all, in a hospital building at Markham Station, under 
charge of S. K. Crawford, Assistant Surgeon. The subse- 
quent adventures of these wounded are sadly exciting. Some 
days after this fight they were captured and paroled by two 
companies of A r irginia cavalry, who robbed them of their 
clothing, money, and the barest necessaries of life, stripping 


them of their clothes, blankets, etc., with a cruel violence 
that drew from them shrieks of anguish. They carried oft* 
all of their provisions, leaving only five pounds of hard bread, 
and forbid the use of any fire wood to supply warmth to their 
naked and chilled limbs. Destitute of food, of clothing, 
helpless with wounds, and momentarily expecting death, what 
situation could be more deplorable ? 

( )n the night of the second day after this raid of the brutal 
rebels, an old black woman appeared, loaded with provisions 
contributed by the negroes around the place for their relief; 
and they were supported solely by contributions from the 
same generous source till the 16th, when they received per- 
mission from Stonewall Jackson to remove within our lines. 
They procured a broken-down hand-car, fitted it with an ex- 
tended platform, so that by close packing all could sit or lie 
upon it, and started for Siegel's headquarters at Gainesville, 
forty miles distant, Dr. Crawford drawing the car with a rope, 
while his attendants aided by pushing. 

The road and bridges were in a terrible condition, and as 
they travelled in the night, they were in constant alarm lest 
their precious load should be precipitated into the abysses 
beneath them. After thirty hours' toil, they procured a little 
hard bread and coffee, — the first food taken since leaving 
Markham's Station, — and on the evening of the second day 
arrived at their destination, from whence a special train con- 
veyed them to Alexandria. 

To return to our regiment. On the day after the fight at 
Barber's Cross Roads we moved toward Chester Gap, in hopes 
of preventing the escape of the rebel army through that pass. 
But Ave were too late, and returned to Orleans. 

On the 7th we crossed the Rappahannock, and Major Bev- 
cridge, with a detachment of the 8th, had a sharp skirmish at 
Sperryville. Companies A and G, in another direction, cap- 
tured ten prisoners, the snow at this time falling so rapidly 
that the rebels did not discover our boys till too late to escape. 

On the 8th our regiment dashed into Little Washington, 




I'lll.-.iC 1 " Llllu>-ir-ii|ililliv;l , ..l , liii-a!;.> 


fter a sharp skirmish, nearly capturing Wade II amptonf or, 
whom, with his officers, a bountiful dinner had just been pre 
pared by the citizens. Colonel Farnsworth, with our officers, 
sat down, and with a hearty relish devoured the luxurious 
dinner prepared for his adversary. The fighting on this day 
was most gallantly conducted, and won for our regiment high 

At Annissville we found a thousand rebel tents stored in 
buildings, and marked "Small Pox." Our boys, seeing 
through this dodge, took what they wanted, and burned the 
remainder, assuring the protesting citizens that it was abso- 
lutely necessary to prevent the spread of the disease. 

General McClellan was now removed from command of the 
army, and Burnside was appointed in his place. 

November 22d we reached the Rappahannock, opposite 
Fredericksburg, which place we had hoped to occupy before 
the enemy ; but we found the rebels in possession of the city. 
Our regiment encamped at Belle Plain, the new base of sup- 
plies for the army. 

On the 9th of December Colonel Farnsworth was made a 
Brigadier General, which made occasion for many promotions 
in the regiment. Surgeon Hard was also made Surgeon-in- 
Chief of the Cavalry Brigade, on the staff of General Pleas- 

On the 11th Fredericksburg was bombarded, and at night 
some of our troops crossed on pontoons into the city. Major 
Beveridge, in command of a portion of our regiment, crossed 
the pontoons next day under a heavy fire, and on the 13th 
the terrible struggle at Fredericksburg really commenced. 
With what interest we watched it cannot be described. Cav- 
alry could take no part in such an assault on fortifications; 
but one-third of our regiment was under fire during most of 
the three days' fight. Our army was defeated, and retired 
across the river with fearful loss. 

The army, now fast in Virginia mud, went into winter 

quarters ; but our regiment did picket duty in King George 


County, preferring this duty, where foraging was good, to 

living in camp on hard-tack and pork. 

In January General Burnside moved the army up the 

Rappahannock, intending to cross at another point, and take 

Fredericksburg. But a terrible storm came on, the army 

was fast in the mud, and Ave were forced to return to the old 


Burnside was now relieved, and General Hooker appointed 

to command the army. 

On the 16th of February the cavalry changed its base to 
Ac(|uia Creek, to which point Ave marched in a severe snow 
storm, and, arriving late, lay down for sleep in the snow, eight 
inches deep. Awaking in the morning, we found ourselves 
covered by three inches more of the fleecy covering, which 
had fallen in the night. 

The difficulty of obtaining supplies here was equally great 
as before. They were brought three miles on the backs of 
mules, through unfathomable mud, in which mule and load 
often sank out of sight together. 

On the night of the 25th, in a furious rain storm, we were 
ordered to march and attack Stuart's raiders, who were oper- 
ating at Warrenton. We marched forty miles, but were a 
day too late. He had escaped with a supply of horses and 
prisoners from a Pennsylvania regiment, which he captured. 
lie paroled some prisoners, and sent them, with his compli- 
ments, to General Hooker, requesting that he would keep his 
horses in better order, as he was depending on the Pennsyl- 
vania cavalry to supply his with horses. The regiment re- 
turned to its old quarters, and to its laborious picket duties. 

With weary days and sleepless nights, hard work, and fre- 
quent attacks by guerrillas, the winter wore away. Many 
were permitted to absent themselves on furloughs of fifteen 


On the 6th of April another of those grand reviews, so 

wearisome to the soldiers, was held at Falmouth, at which the 

whole cavalry force was present, — the largest body of cavalry 

ever assembled on this continent. 


On April 13th our regiment moved oft' under Stoneman, on 
the famous great raid around the rear of the rebel army. We 
moved to Warrenton, where Captain Farnsworth's company 
captured eight of the rebels; and pressing rapidly on, Ave 
camped at ten o'clock at night, too weary to prepare supper. 
Next day we crossed the Rappahannock, but while detached 
from the brigade came near being captured by a superior 
force, and re-crossed the river. Mosby and White's cavalry 
were out in force in the valley above, and we were detached 
from the raiding force to attend to them. Every portion of 
that country was thoroughly scouted over by our force, who 
often marched day and night, and fared sumptuously oft' of 
the rebels' supplies. 

On the 29th we crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, 
and after a lively skirmish passed on through Culpepper, to 
the Rapidan river, where we woke up the rebel artillery, and 
rested for that night. A desultory tire was kept up all of the 
next day, and we expected to cross, drive oft' the small force 
opposing us, and join the main raid. But General Averill, 
our present leader, gave no such orders. 

A rebel Colonel, with a squad of thirty men, captured 
Captain Waite, by killing his horse while he was at our ad- 
vanced picket post; but our picket reserves made a gallant 
charge and recovered their Captain. 

< >n the 1st of May we passed down the river again, crossing 
at I . S. Ford, greatly disappointed at not being permitted to 
go on the great raid. 

The raid was unsuccessful in its main purpose of cutting 
the railroad connection with Richmond, but destroyed millions 
of dollars' worth of rebel property. 

< )n this day the great battle of Chancellorsville commenced, 
in which, after a three days' struggle, our great army was 
again defeated with tremendous slaughter, and driven across 
the river again. We did not return in time to take any active 
part in this engagement. 

On the 7th and 8th of May detachments of our regiment 


were employed in digging rifle-pits to defend Kelly's and 

Norman's fords; and at night Stoneman's force reached the 

ford opposite us, and we returned down the river, terribly 


On the 11th we were paid off, and our boys sent home 

$25,000 from their wages, — $32 to each man. 

Much to our delight we were ordered on the 17th to make 
a reconnoisance in King George County and the Northern 
Neck, a great refuge for smugglers. Marching in three bat- 
talions, under Colonel Clendenin, Major Beveridge and Major 
Medill, respectively, we scoured every nook and corner of that 
country, capturing and destroying immense quantities of rebel 
property, burning one hundred sloops, yawls and ferry-boats, 
with their valuable contents, consisting of whisky, salt, leather, 
stationery, boots, shoes, clothing, and almost every conceiva- 
ble article of supplies. 

On returning, the negroes from the plantations joined the 
regiment, fifteen hundred strong, with women, children, horses, 
carts, and all the movables that they could carry. We also 
brought off five hundred fine horses and mules, and one hun- 
dred prisoners, returning on the 27th, — all in all the most 
ludicrous procession we had ever seen. At Belle Plain the 
negro men were retained and set to work, and the women and 
children transported to Washington. There was little or no 
smug-ading; across that neck after that raid of the 8th Illinois. 

On the 5th of June Lee commenced his grand march to the 
north, and the grand invasion of Pennsylvania, which was de- 
feated and hurled back at Gettysburg. 

The cavalry corps under Pleasanton was now pushed for- 
ward to ascertain his position, Captain Clark, who had just 
been appointed Major, being in command of our regiment, 
which was in Buford's division. We crossed Beverly Ford 
in the advance, the enemy being very near, and there we had 
one of the most severe fights we had ever engaged in, and 

one which was said to be, up to that time, the hardest-fought 
cavalry engagement in the war. But the cavalry were finally 
compelled to withdraw across the river. 


In this engagement Captain Clark and J. G. Smith were 
mortally wounded, Captains Forsythe and Haynes severely 
wounded, and we lost thirty-six men by wounds, among them 
W. H. Shurtleff and George M. Perry, of Company B, and 
Henry Aiken, William Snively and Thomas Bolter, of Com- 
pany L. It was a noteworthy fact that the lives of both 
George M. Perry and Harry Pearsons were saved at this en- 
gagement by Testaments which their mothers had given them, 
and which, carried in their breast-pockets, stopped the force 
of the bullets. 

Most of the other regiments engaged suffered very severely, 
the enemy being defended by breastworks, behind which ar- 
tillery was strongly posted. 

We moved to Catlett's Station on the 10th, and on the 17th 
started for Pennsylvania. 

At Aldie we met the enemy, and the rash Kilpatrick or- 
dered a charge over a stone wall upon them with sabres. It 
was gallantly made, but we lost far more than the rebels. 

Next day, skirmishing near Goose Creek, in which our 
regiment drew high compliments from Generals Buford and 
Kilpatrick, some officer, unnecessarily alarmed, foolishly 
burned the bridge in our rear, compelling us to swim the deep, 
cold stream on our return. 

On the 21st we had a fight at Middlebury, driving the 
rebels, who rallied behind every stone wall until, near night, 
our little force had pressed them to the mountains. Here we 
suddenly came upon some six thousand of them, drawn up in 
line of battle, and defended by artillery. General Buford 
ordered a charge, and it was led by Lieutenant-Colonel Clen- 
denin and the 8th Illinois, through a storm of grape and can- 
ister. At the first fire Colonel Gamble and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Clendenin had their horses shot under them, and 
Major Medill took command. 

Forward was the word, and the gallant 8th, that never 
quailed before the rebels, advanced to within a short distance, 
when, at the word, our seven hundred good carbines blazed 


away at them, sending many a grayback to his last account. 
Then at them we went, with revolvers cracking away in all 
directions. They broke and fled, but were reinforced again ; 
and our regiment, with some of the 3d Indiana and 12th Illi- 
nois, formed a new line behind a stone wall. After receiving 
their fire, Major Medill ordered another charge, and we drove 
them again from the field. Three times more did the rebels 
attempt to drive us, and as often were they repulsed. We 
killed and wounded more than tA\o hundred of the graybacks, 
and remained masters of the field, the rebels retreating 

through Ashby's Gap. 

Innumerable instances of individual heroism upon this oc- 
casion are related. 

Next day we returned to Aldie, and remained till the 20th, 
when we crossed the Potomac, and marched over the Katochin 
mountains to Middletown, where we learned that General 
Hooker had been removed, and General Meade appointed to 
command of the army; also, that Lee was already before us 
in Pennsylvania. 

On the 29th we camped twelve miles from Gettysburg, and 
next day encountered the enemy in force at Fairfield. We 
had a sharp skirmish, and then went to Gettysburg. 

Next day, July 1st, the enemy advanced in force, the great 
decisive battle of Gettysburg began, and our regiment, as in 
several other of the greatest battles of the war. received the 
first fire and shed the first blood. We alone resisted the 
onset of the enemy for several hours: and when the infantry 
came up we operated upon the flanks. Night found our army 
driven a mile out of the town. 

Next day the battle raged still more fiercely, but we were 
ordered to protect the army supplies. 

Our gallant Captain E. J. Farnsworth, who had just been 
made a Brigadier-General, was on this day ordered by Kil- 
patrick on a rash, useless, desperate charge. He said he 
could never come back alive, bid his comrades farewell, dashed 
at the head of a small force upon the enemy, and was at once 
riddled with bullets. 


T'pon the defeat of Lee, next day, we were sent to intercept 
his retreat through Frederick City, and Boonsboro, and Wil- 
liamsport, where we had a very sharp fight, in which several 
o!' our men, among them our gallant Major Medill, were mor- 
tally wounded. 

On the 8th the enemy drove one regiment of our cavalry, 
and the 8th was ordered to re-take the lost ground, which we 
did, with the highest compliments of Buford and Kilpatrick, 
the latter of whom bitterly cursed his men for not being able 
to do their duty in the same brave manner. 

On the 9th and 1<)th more sharp fighting, and more of our 
men killed and wounded. 

We constantly expected another advance and a consequent 
capture of Lee's army, but a council of war decided to rest 
awhile, during which rest we were actively employed till the 
14th, when, advancing, we found that Lee's main army had 
escaped across the river. Our cavalry came upon two brig- 
ades of the rebels behind earthworks, two miles from Falling 
Waters, and at once attacked them. Our division, under 
Buford, went round to flank them on the left, but before we 
could arrive at our position the impetuous Kilpatrick ordered 
an unnecessary assault by his division, which was repulsed, 
his brave boys being slaughtered by scores. We were soon 
in on their flank, however, and after a desperate fight, in 
which we lost severely, we captured four hundred prisoners-, 
Kilpatrick's division also taking over six hundred. 

On the ISth we again crossed the Potomac, following over 
the same ground that we hail passed over after the battle of 
Antietam. We attempted again to intercept the rebels before 
they reached Chester Gap, but were too late as before. 

On the 22d we had quite a sharp fight at Lovetsville, in 
which we gained some laurels, and lost several wod men. 

( >n the 27th we marched to Rappahannock Station, the 
Rappahannock river being, as before, the dividing line between 
the hostile forces. 

On the 1st of August we crossed the river for a reconnoi- 


sauce, and had a severe engagement near Culpepper, on the 
plantation of John Minor J>otts. We gained the information 
needed, but our forces engaged lost twenty killed, one hundred 
wounded, and one hundred and forty-eight in missing. 

From the 15th to the 81st of August we remained near 
Dumfries, doing picket duty. 

On the 13th of September our regiment, dismounted, 
climbed up and captured Pony Mountain, a signal-station of 
the enemy, and on the 14th lost some of our men in a desul- 
tory fight near that point, which lasted all day. 

On the IStli an infantry force relieved us from picket duty, 
and Ave marched to Stevensburg. 

On the 22d occurred the fight at Jack's Shop, a little vil- 
lage near Madison. It commenced by some shots from rebel 
artillery, and a demand for our surrender, which we answered 
by a volley from our pistols that staggered the foe. . We dis- 
mounted and went at them through the woods. After waiting 
some time for Kilpatrick to cut off their retreat, which he 
failed to do, our boys finally pitched into them, and drove 
them in the greatest confusion. It was one of the most hand- 
somely fought engagements in which we participated. We 
drove the graybacks across the Rapidan, and on the next day 
returned to Culpepper, and subsequently to Stevensburg. 

This was the last of our severe engagements in the autumn 
of 1863. 

We moved back through Culpepper to Hazel river, where 
we had a smart skirmish with the enemy, who resisted our 
passage. Several of our division were killed, but the enemy 
Avas driven back. 

Mosby, the fearless and impetuous guerrilla, who kept that 
whole section of the country in constant alarm, was now 
scouring the hills and valleys of A r irginia, and we were in 
pursuit of him. We proceeded to Fairfax Court House, and 
thence to Culpepper. There we remained a month in camp, 
and there the regiment re-enlisted as veterans. 

The 8th Illinois Cavalry has the honor of originating the 


system of veteran re-enlistment. As early as July, 1803, a 
majority of the regiment had offered to re-enlist as a regiment; 
but the Department, always behind the people in their de- 
mands for men, discouraged the offer. But after the regiment 
had lain at Culpepper in winter quarters, the permission was 
received, and the regiment went home on a veteran furlough 
of thirty days. About one hundred and fifty declined to re- 
enlist, and were sent on detached duty as body-guards, and 
in service of that character, till the expiration of their three 
years' service in September, 1864. 

Headquarters were now at St. Charles, Illinois, and there, 
after their short furlough, the regiment re-enlisted in Febru- 
ary, and reached Washington again in March. We were en- 
camped at Giesborough Point, near Washington, for about 
two months, and then crossed to Washington, where we were 
employed on patrol duty in and about the city. 

The grand army under Grant was now making its way on 
the great final campaign to Richmond, and a rebel force under 
Early again crossed the upper Potomac, through Maryland, 
and endeavored to effect the capture of Washington. A 
comparatively small force could only be spared from the grand 
army to resist this attack. It was placed under the command 
of General Lew Wallace, and the 8th Illinois acted as his 
cavalry support. 

We fought the enemy in the engagements at Middletown 
and Monocacy, and at Urbana our regiment held in check 
two rebel brigades, resisting their approach till the bleeding 
and shattered forces of General Wallace could be rallied and 
saved from rout and destruction. It was a service whose 
value could hardly be over-estimated. 

The Sixth Corps were summoned to the defence of the 
Capital, and drove Early back into Virginia. 

We were now stationed at Washington, and employed in 

the comparatively light and easy duties of patrolling the city. 

In August we crossed over into Virginia, and during the 

autumn, and, indeed, long after we had gone into winter 


quarters at Fairfax, we were employed in scouting and scour- 
ing the country after the ubiquitous Mosby, whose forces, 
sometimes three hundred strong and sometimes not more than 
a dozen, were constantly committing depredations on the 
Union armies and the Union people, yet vanishing as a vapor 
when pursued. His depredations were usually committed at 
night, and on many of those cold, wintry nights we were 
roused from our slumbers to pursue him, but he always eluded 
pursuit, and was never captured. 

When, in the following April, President Lincoln was assas- 
sinated by the actor Booth, our regiment was dispatched to 
the peninsula to assist in searching for the infamous assassin 
and his associates, who were supposed to be a formidable band. 

The assassins captured, the regiment remained in King 
George and St. Mary's Counties, Maryland, engaged in the 
prevention of smuggling, and in making prisoners of all those 
of the inhabitants who declined to take the oath of alWiance. 
All of this class who refused the oath were sent to the Capital 
prison at Washington. 

In June, of 1865, the regiment was again encamped at 
Fairfax Court House, and the great rebellion having finally 
been crushed, they were ordered to the West to operate against 
the Indians, who were then threatening serious trouble upon 
the Western plains. 

They reached St. Louis in July, but on the passage met 
with a serious misfortune by the overloading of the boat on 
which they were transported. In the darkness of the night 
of June 28th the steamer ran aground, and careened upon 
her side. Fight members of Company L, roused from their 
slumbers by the alarm, threw themselves into the water, and 
five of them were drowned. 

The order to move out upon the plains was very decidedly 
opposed to the wishes of the men of the regiment. For nearly 
five years they had been fighting the rebellion, and now that 
it was finally and gloriously ended, they thought they were 
entitled to return to their long-lost homes. A vigorous pro- 


test was made against the order, and, thanks to - * 1 influential 
friends, it was successful. 

After remaining a short time at St, Louis the regiment was 
ordered to Chicago, and there, on July 17, 1865, was finally 
mustered out. 

The service of the 8th Illinois Cavalry had been long, ar- 
duous, dangerous, and brilliant, with many gallant and noble 
deeds. It had shed lustre upon our State, and its memory 
will ever be preserved as among the choicest, proudest trophies 
of the great State from which it sprang. Friends and foes 
alike have described it as the best cavalry regiment in the 
great army of the Potomac. The writer has heard this high 
compliment paid it from too many different members of the 
rebel cavalry, so long opposed to it, to doubt the candor or 
sincerity of their statement. 

The following is the roster of the officers and men in the 
companies that went from I)e Kalb County, as taken from 
the official reports : 

The Eighth Cavalry Regiment. 

Ilavvey A. Humphrey, Franklin, 1st Lieut. Promoted ('apt. Co. D. 
Shields Joseph, Franklin, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Burmier John, Franklin, mustered out July 17, ; <',f>, as teamster. 
Fisher Charles, Franklin, mustered out July 17, '65, as Corporal. 
Hoffman Valentine B., Franklin, mustered out July. 17. '65, as Corporal. 
Smith Leonard G., Cortland, promoted 2d Lieut. 
Grashaber Franklin, Franklin, prisoner of war. 
Phillips Joseph. Franklin, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Stevens Isaac W., Franklin, mustered out July 17, '65. 


Lorenzo H. Whitney, Kingston, resigned July 15, '62. 
John G. Smith, Sycamore, died of wounds June 16, i;:l. 
John A. Kelley, Sycamore, term expired September 18, '64. 
George W. Corbit, Afton, mustered out July 17. '65. 


John G. Smith, Sycamore, promoted. 
John A. Kelley, Sycamore, promoted. 


Jacob M. Siglin, Sycamore, resigned July 15, '0 - _\ 
S. Spencer Carr, Genoa, promoted. 
George W. Corbitt. Afton. promoted. 


John A. Kelley, Sycamore, promoted 2d Lieut. 


J. J. Woodruff, Clinton, discharged Oct. 14, '62; disability, and died. 


E. B. Wright, Genoa, mustered out September 28, '64. 

J. AVilliam Moody, Burlington, discharged January 16, '(12; disability. 

YV. 11. Whitney, Kingston, discharged April 17. '62; disability. 


Spencer S. Carr, Genoa, promoted 2d Lieut. 

Adin F. Cowles, Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 

George M. Roe, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

(Jeorge W. Corbitt, Afton, re-enlisted as veteran. 

E. II. Burdick, Sycamore, discharged December 2S, '62; disability. 


Allen Abner, Genoa, died at Alexandria, Ya., February 'J, '62. 
Blakesly James N., Sycamore, mustered out September 28, '64. 
Baxter Charles. De Kalb. mustered out September 27, '64. 
Bannister Charles F., Malta, died at Alexandria April 13, "62. 


Bedee Joseph, Sycamore, discharged May 15, '63. 

Bailey William, Clinton, mustered out September 28, '01. 

Boon Shubble S., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Bell James M., Clinton, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Collins C. EL, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Cook S. W- !<•) Genoa, transferred to V. R. C, March 14. '64. 

Caless John, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Close Robert, De Kalb, re-enlisted as veteran 

Campbell William L., De Kalb, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Chambers A. B.. De Kalb, killed at Mechanicsville June 20, '62. 

Cutshaw B. F.. Burlington, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Doney Davis S., Genoa, transferred to Invalid Corps. 

Dennis Lyman, May field, mustered out September 28. '64. 

Davis Samuel, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Farrel Edward, Afton, died at Alexandria, Va., February 21, '02. 

Farnarn Simon. Sycamore, mustered out September 28, '64, 

Fradenburg Garritt, Sycamore, discharged September 18, '64. 

Freeman Watson, Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Fancher Martin, Clinton, discharged April 6, '114 ; wounds. 

Fraser Thomas. Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Gillott Robert M., Genoa. Corporal. Died at Alexandria April 12. '62. 

Hall George, Sycamore. 

llaskins Elmer. Sycamore, died at Alexandria February 15, H2. 

Bolderness Elisha, Malta, discharged November 8, '62; disability. 

Hitt AVesley, Genoa, discharged April 17, '62; disability. 

Howe James M., Mayfield. re-enlisted as veteran. 

Herrick William, Clinton, mustered out September 28, '64. 

Hill Henry, Clinton, mustered out September 28, *64. 

lngols Charles. Burlington, died on the road to N. V. May 10, '62. 

Losee Rufus, De Kalb, discharged December 28, '62; disability. 

Mace William, De Kalb, Corporal. Killed November 5. '62, at Barbers X 

Miller Solomon, De Kalb, deserted August 30, '62. 
Maclan James, De Kalb, mustered out September 28, "64. 
Morse C. Wesley, Milan, re-enlisted as veteran. 
O'Connor Daniel, Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Parkhurst A. M., Sycamore, mustered out September 28. '64. 
Porter George, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Partlow James F., Burlington, discharged April 17. '62; disability. 
Perry George W., Burlington, mustered out September 28, '64. 
Pittenger Reuben S., Burlington, discharged May 2. '62; disability. 
Pierce Washington F., Afton, discharged May 8, '62 ; disability. 
Peavey Ira W-, Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Reeves Robert L., Burlington, mustered out September 28, '64. 
Shurtleff W- H., Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Thomas Julius 0., Clinton, discharged May 15, '62. 
Weaver Isaac, Sycamore, died at Camp California January 21, '62. 
Wilcox Daniel, Genoa, re-enltsted as veteran. 


Bell George H,, Sycamore, mustered out as Sergeant July 17, '65. 

Bell James M.. Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Boon Shubble S.. Sycamore, Corporal. Absent at muster-out. 

Banner George P., Burlington, mustered out July 17, '65, as Corporal. 

Corbitt George W., Sycamore, promoted 2d Lieutenant. 

Collins Charles H., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Crouk Cyrus H., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as Sergeant- 

Cowles Adin F., Sycamore, transferred. 


Close Robert J., Sycamore, died at Washington March 13, '64. 

Campbell W. L., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as bugler. 

Callies John, Sycamore, mustered out July 17. '65, as Corporal. 

Dewitt Hiram S., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as Sergeant. 

Dunning Dyer D., Sycamore, promoted Sergeant, then 2d Lieutenant. 

Dake Oliver S., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '05. 

Davis Samuel, Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Fraser Thomas, Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Fassett Ceylon A., Sycamore, hospital steward. 

Freeman Watson L., Sycamore, mustered out Jnly 17, '65. 

Graves Martin, Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Hokes Harrison, Sycamore, promoted 1st Sergeant, then 1st Lieutenant. 

Howe James M., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as Sergeant. 

Hollister Henry, De Kalb, mustered out July 17, '65, as Corporal. 

Maynard James M., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as Sergeant. 

Morse Charles W., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as blacksmith. 

McGregor George, Sycamore, killed at Monocacy July 9, '64. 

O'Connor Daniel, Sycamore, killed at Cockeysville July 18, '64. 

Porter George, Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Peavey Ira W., Sycamore, mustered out July 17. '65. 

Roe George M., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Remmington Darius H., Sycamore. Sergeant. 

Reynolds Andrew A., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as Sergeant. 

Shurtleff W- H.. Sycamore, mustered out July 17. "65. 

Starkey Simon P., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as Farrier. 

Wilcox Daniel. Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Weed John. Burlington, commissioned 2d Lieutenant. 


Albert William T., Sycamore, deserted September 27. '62. 

Baker Fred W., Genoa, transferred to Co. D. 

Banner George, Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Brooks Rufus, Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Butler W. A., Cortland, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Buck Ellis. Genoa, died at Washington April 28, '64. 

Campbell George N., De Kalb, discharged January 1. '64: disability. 

Campbell George N., Sycamore, mustered out July 17. "65. 

Denton Isaac G-, Afton. mustered out July 17. '65. 

Davis Reed, Burlington, mustered out June 22, '65. 

Disbron Edward, Alden, died at Fairfax December 13, '64. 

Everetts Aranthus, Burlington, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Fraser Alexander, Sycamore, discharged July 17. '62 ; disability. 

Freeman AVilbert S., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as bugler. 

Fleet Charles, Afton, mustered out June 27, '65. 

Gregory William, Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Hyland George G., De Kalb, died at Washington September 5, '64. 

Hollister Henry D., De Kalb, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Hatch Simeon P., Burlington, mustered out July 17, 65. 

Percival Judson, Clinton, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Percival Stephen. Clinton, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Partlow Calvin, Burlington, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Reeves John VV., Burlington, mustered out July 17, '65, as Corporal. 

Roach John, Genoa, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Starkey Henry S., Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Snyder S. S., Cortland, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Thomas Isaac E., Cortland, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Thomas Edwin J., Cortland, discharged January 29, '65 ; disability. 


Van Amburg Matthew, Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Weed John J., Burlington, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Wcstbrook Charles, Genoa, mustered out July 17, '65, as Corporal. 

Aldrich Charles, Somonauk, musiered out July 17, '65. 
Gates Orlando L., Shabbona, mustered out July 17, '65. 
Rockwell Hamlin J., Somonauk, discharged July 19, '62, for promotion in 

colored regiment. 
Winans Wesley J., Somonauk, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Brown Charles D., Victor, Sergeant. Mustered out September 28, '64. 
Wesson Silas D., Victor, Corporal. Re-enlisted as veteran. 
Gould George, Victor, Corporal. Mustered out Sept. 28, '64, as private. 
Beckwith John, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Bond Charles, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Bullock Daniel, Victor, mustered out September 28, '64, as Corporal. 
Burnham Samuel M., Victor, discharged March 8, '62 ; disability. 
Bacon Lawrence T., Somonauk, discharged May 1, '62 ; disability. 
Dean De Grass, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Dutton Whitney, Somonauk, discharged September 29, '62 ; disability. 
Greenville Charles, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Hall Jacob M., Somonauk, killed at Hazel River October 17, '63. 
Kennicott Ira, Victor, re-enlisttd as veteran 
Moore Wallace M., Victor, discharged May 9, '62 ; disability. 
Mead Chauucey. Somonauk, mustered out September 28, '64. 
Schoville Fred P., Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Snydam Cornelius R., Victor, died at Alexandria January 27, '62. 
Snydam Simon, Victor, mustered out September 28, '64. 
Stockham Dewitt C, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Tripp Calvin, Somonauk, mustered out September 28, "64. 
Van Fleet Alfred. Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Voorhees Peter, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Willard William, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 


Beckwith John S., Victor, mustered out July 17, '6-5. 

Brown Alden, Victor, mustered out July 17, '65, as Sergeant. 

Bond Charles T., Victor, died at Pittsburg March 16, '64. 

Dean De Grass, Somonauk, mustered out August. 8, '65. 

Kennicott Ira, Victor, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Scoville Fred E., Victor, mustered out April 12, '65. 

Van Fleet Alfred, Victor, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Voorhees Peter, Victor, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Wesson Silas D., Victor, mustered out July 17, '65, as Sergeant. 

Willard William, Clinton, mustered out July 17, '65. 


Baker George L., Somonauk, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Bigelow W. H.. Somonauk, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Bennett James, Somonauk, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Baker John T., Somonauk, killed at Frederick July 8, '64. 

Brown Alden, Victor, re-enlisted as veteran. 

De Forrest William, Afton, died at Camp Stoneman, D. C, Nov. 0. '64. 

Frank Frederick, Sycamore, killed, March 30, 'ti'-l. 

Graham Forrester, Sandwich, deserted October 6, '62. 

Huntington Averell, Somonauk, mustered out July 17, '65, as bugler. 

Kirkpatrick Isaac, Somonauk, discharged July 22, '62 ; disability. 


Kimball Nathan G-, Somonauk, transferred to Co. G. 

Mack .Samuel J., Somonauk, mustered out July 17, '65, as Corporal. 

McBrayton George, Somonauk, mustered out July 17. '65, as bugler. 

Pelling William, Somonauk, mustered out July 17. "<i">. 

Ryan Horton, Afton, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Ryan John, Afton, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Wilson James H., Somonauk, mustered out July 17, '65. 



Daniel Dustin, Sycamore, promoted. 

John M. Waite, Sycamore, promoted. 

James F. Berry, Sycamore, term expired December 28, '66. 


John M. Waite, Sycamore, promoted. 


John M. Waite. Sycamore, promoted. 


Phillip McRae, Sycamore, discharged, and promoted 2d Lieutenant in 
17th Cavalry. 


James F. Berry, Sycamore, promoted lid Lieutenant. 


William S. Thompson, Dement. 

Sidney S. Sessions. Sycamore. Sergeant. Accidentally killed May 15, 'OH. 

Edward J. Blanchard, Mayfield, died at Alexandria, February 12, '62. 


Albro Simeon, South Grove, mustered out September 28, '64. 
Bur/ell Arick H., Genoa, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Butler Thouias, South Grove, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Carr James H.. Franklin, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Can." Winslow A.. Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Cole Amos R., mustered out September 2s. '(jo, as Corporal. 

Countryman James, Franklin, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Depue James S., Sycamore, discharged December 2:!, til. 

Dixon Joseph E., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Edson Samuel L., Sycamore, transferred to Invalid Corps. Feb. 7. '64. 

McKinney A. ('., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

liosbach William H., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Stevens Judson A., Genoa, promoted 2d Lieutenant. 

Young Walter W.. Mayfield, re-enlisted as veteran. 


Butler Thomas L., Sycamore, transferred to C. S. Navy, Sept. 21, 'til. 
Burzell Arick H., Genoa, Sergeant. Drowned in Mississippi river, June 

28, '65. 
( 'rosby James A., Sycamore, absent, sick, at muster-out of regiment. 
Carr James H.. Franklin, mustered out July 17. '65, us Sergeant. 
Carr Charles M.. Franklin, mustered out July 17. '65, as Farrier. 
Dixon Joseph E., Sycamore, mustered out July 17. '65, as Sergeant. 
McKinney Artemus. Sycamore, mustered out July 17. '65. as Corporal. 
Kosback Wallace H., Sycamore, mustered out July 17. 65. 
Waldron Isaac N., Sycamore. See Co. B. 
Young "Walter \\., Sycamore, mustered out July 17, '65, as bugler. 



Adams Eli, Pierce, mustered out July 17, '60. 

Blakely John, Pierce, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Crosby James A., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Carr J. A., Franklin, killed at White Plains, in a charge, Oct. 1 1, '04. 

Logan Elias, Cortland, mustered out July 17, '65. 

Nichols George A., Malta, re-enlisied as veteran. 

Porter Leroy L., Sycamore, discharged March 10, : 62. 

Waldron Isaac N., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Brownell Joseph 0.. Somonauk, mustered out July 13, '65. 
Leason William, Somonauk, mustered out July 13, '65. 
Overocker M. D., South Grove, mustered out Sept. 28, '64, as Corporal. 
Williams Joseph, Somonauk, mustered out June 21, "65. 
Yalding Herman, Sycamore, mustered out June 3, '65. 
Crouk Eugene, Somonauk, veteran. Deserted. 
Douglas Edward A., De Kalb. 
Kelly Thomas, Cortland, deserted. 


Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry. 


In the autumn of 1863, when the hearts of the lovers of 
the Union had been cheered by the great victory at Antietam, 
which sent Lee and his mighty invading horde of rebels flying 
back across the Potomac, yet had been depressed again by 
the fact that he had been permitted to escape without the 
destruction of his army, which they had confidently anticipated 
as the result of this great victory, and when it was evident 
that still more of the country's brave boys must be called 
from civil pursuits, to give what Avas fondly hoped would be a 
final death-blow to the rebellion, Colonel John F. Farnsworth, 
who was then acting as Brigadier-General of cavalry upon the 
Potomac, was authorized by the War Department to raise a 
fresh brigade of cavalry. 

Upon Colonel Farnsworth's recommendation a commission 
was issued to Major John L. Beveridge, of the 8th Cavalry, 
to raise one regiment of that brigade at his own home in Illi- 
nois. He proceeded at once to this State, and began the 
work of recruitment, establishing his rendezvous at St. Charles, 
Kane County. 

Captain Jesse D. Butts, of De Kalb County, who had been 
forced by one of those chronic ailments which beset the soldier 
to resign his office as Captain in the 42d Infantry, and had 
been at home a few months, commenced, on the 1st of October, 
to recruit a company for that regiment, — a work in which he 


was most efficiently aided by Jasper H. Waite, of Sycamore, 
a scholarly young man who left Beloit College to do his share 
in the defence of his country, and by Sergeant Phillip Mc- 
Rae, of Mayfield, a dashing trooper who had seen some two 
years' service in that excellent school for the cavalry soldier, 

the 8th Illinois. 

The recruiting for this regiment was conducted under one 
marked disadvantage: To fill up the thinned ranks of the 
veteran regiments then in the field the Government had offered 
a bounty of $300 for recruits. For those who enlisted in 
the new regiments, then forming, only $100 bounty was at 
first allowed. The service in the veteran regiments was more 
arduous, the chances of speedy promotion very much less, 
and the new regiments were decidedly the favorites ; so that, 
in spite of this drawback, the regiment mustered five hundred 
men in two months from the first attempt to recruit, and was 
mustered in January 22, 1864. 

Subsequently the bounty of $300 was extended to all who 
enlisted for three years, and their ranks filled up more rap- 
idly, so that, on the 12th of February, the whole number of 
twelve companies were in camp at St. Charles, and preparing 
for duty in the field. 

The recruits had been encouraged by the Government to 
select and furnish their own horses, for each of which the 
United States allowed them $130. This permission was a 
great favor. The farmer lads of Illinois, — a land in which 
there were more horses than children in each family, and 
where each young man had his favorite steed, who was as 
dear as a brother to him, — felt that with his own horse as his 
constant companion he would not be quite alone any where, 
and, engaged in the service, they cared for their steeds with 
a thoughtfulness and tenderness that they could never have 
felt for such an one as might have fallen to their lots by the 
chance distribution of the United States officer. 

The men of Company C, wdiich was Captain Butts' com- 
pany, were well mounted. Many a superior horse, costing 
twice the Government price, had been purchased and given 


to the young troopers by their good friends at home, and by 
the close of April six hundred and fifty horses had thus been 
brought in bv the men and sold to the Government. 

The form of election of officers was usually gone through 
with by the new companies, and there was generally some 
sharp contests for the positions; but without much opposition 
the De Kalb County Company (Company C) selected Jesse 
D. Butts as Captain, Jasper H. "VVaite as 1st Lieutenant, and 
Phillip McRae as 2d Lieutenant. They proved to have been 
excellent selections, and in all the vicissitudes through which 
this company passed there was little or no inclination to regret 
their choice. 

The field officers of the regiment were: Colonel, John L. 
Beveridge; Lieutenant-Colonel, Dennis J. Hynes; Major, 
Hiram Hilliard; 2d Major, Lucius C. Matlack; 3d Major, 
Phillip E. Fisher; Adjutant, Samuel W. Smith; Quarter- 
master, Philo P. Judson; Commissary, John A. Colton; Sur- 
geon, Samuel K. Crawford; Assistant-Surgeon, Samuel A. 
Dow; Chaplain, Edward O'Brien. 

On the 1st of May the regiment, eager for active service, 
and wearied with the monotony of camp-life, was pleased to 
receive orders to break camp at St. Charles, and report for 
duty to General Rosecrans, commanding the department of 

They proceeded to Jefferson Barracks, twelve miles below 
St. Louis, where their outfit was completed; and they were 
ordered to Alton, where for a month they were employed in 
doing guard duty over a large body of rebel prisoners confined 
in the deserted State prison at that place. 

The regiment was divided into three battalions, and each 
battalion into two squadrons of two companies each. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Dennis J. Hynes, an experienced and 
dashing officer who had served in the 8th Illinois Cavalry, 
commanded the 1st Battalion, which was composed of Com- 
panies A and B, who constituted the 1st Squadron, and was 
under command of Major H. Hilliard, and of Companies C 


and D, who constituted the 2d Squadron, which was com- 
manded by Captain Butts. 

Major L. C. Matlack, formerly a chaplain of the 8th Illinois 
Cavalry, commander of the 2d Battalion, was assigned by 
General C. B. Fisk to the post at Glasgow, Missouri, and for 
four months subsequently the three battalions were separated 
and remote from each other. 

The De Kalb County company was, with the remainder of 
the 1st Battalion, moved to St. Louis, where it was assigned 
to, and for three months mostly employed in, escort and pro- 
vost guard duties in North Missouri. Their headquarters 
were at St. Joseph, in Northwestern Missouri, whither they 
were conveyed by steamer. 

Northern Missouri was at that time terribly scourged by 
rebel guerrillas, and on their way up the river they heard of 
the near presence of the guerrilla Bill Anderson, with a largo 
part of his gang. The boat was stopped, one hundred and 
fifty of the 17th were landed, and attacked his force with 
success, driving them into the interior. 

In this engagement Henry Reed, a worthy member of 
Company C, from De Kalb, lost his life, — the first casualty 

in the regiment. 

While posted at St. Joseph Captain Butts was detailed as 
Judge Advocate, and Lieutenant Waite as Assistant Adjutant 
General, on General Fisk's staff. 

The company was selected as a body-guard of General Fisk, 
but was constantly on duty, scouting through the country, 
under command of Lieutenant Phillip McRae, who proved 
himself one of the most dashing and efficient officers in the 
service; often routing the guerrillas, and terrifying them into 
their dens. 

About the middle of September the company was again 
ordered out in pursuit of the notorious Bill Anderson, who 
had just committed a shocking massacre of Union men at 
Centralia. The rebel band was discovered near Fayette, and 
after a long and desperate contest were driven from their 
grounds and dispersed. 


Soon after this the Companies C and D, forming the 2d 
Squadron of the 1st Battalion, under Captain Jones, were 
ordered to Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, which was 
threatened by the rebels under Price, who was scouring the 
country with his accustomed vigor and energy. They moved 
across the country by land, and on the 6th and 7th of October 
assisted in the defence of the capital. 

The 3d Battalion, which, with the regimental headquarters, 

had remained at Alton, Illinois, until September, now joined 

the 1st and 2d at the capital, and for a long period conducted 

a very active campaign under Colonel Beveridge, in which 

the regiment Avas a unit. 

About this time Colonel Harding, who was commander of 

a Missouri regiment, with a force of about five hundred men, 
had been surrounded by a much larger force of the enemy, 
and after having contended for five hours with a greatly su- 
perior force, was compelled to surrender. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Hynes, Commissary Colton, Lieutenant 
Eldridge, and three men of Company C, who had been away 
on leave of absence, and being prevented from reaching their 
regiment had taken service on this expedition with him, were 
among the captured upon this occasion. 

On the 10th of September the regiment, under Colonel 
Beveridge, reported to General McNiell, at Rolla, an import- 
ant strategic point in Southwestern Missouri, then the termi- 
nus of a railroad, and constantly threatened by the vigilant 
and active rebel Price, whose name in the West had a power 
and popularity equal to that of Lee in Virginia. 

Soon after their arrival there all communication with St. 
Louis was cut off by Price, and a force commanded by Colonel 
Ewing, and stationed at Pilot Knob, some sixty miles farther 
to the southwest, had, after a brave resistance, been driven 
from its post, and was retreating on Rolla. 

At noon of the 28th the 17th, under Colonel Beveridge. 
was sent out to their relief, and after meeting and routing a 
cavalry force that appeared near Cuba, it pressed on to Lees- 
burg, thirty-three miles distant. 


In the morning it reached the little army of General Ewing, 
composed of only eight hundred men. It was hastily en- 
trenched, expecting constantly an attack from the overwhelm- 
ing force of the enemy, and anticipating either capture or 
destruction. The joy of the little army of General Ewing at 
the sight of the friendly blue coats of the I7th, which assured 
them of safety and succor, may readily be imagined. They 
speedily moved back to Rolla. 

Arrived there, they found that the rebel forces under the 
vigilant General Price had cut the railroad, destroyed the 
telegraph, and were reported moving with an army of twenty 
thousand men upon Jefferson City. 

General Sanborn had now come up to Holla from Spring- 
field, to avoid being surrounded and captured at that distant 
and exposed point. 

No orders could be received from headquarters, nor definite 
knowledge of the plans of the rebels could be procured. 
Generals McNiell and Sanborn, however, concluded upon 
what happened to be the wisest plan they could pursue. They 
struck out at a venture for the State capital, wisely judging 
that Price was aiming for that point ; and thus commenced 
by far the most exciting episode in the history of the 17th 
Cavalry, and one of the most thrilling events of the war. J t 
was the famous movement known as the Price raid, — a move- 
ment in which the endurance of which human nature was 
capable was put to the severest possible test, in which the 
regiment lost five hundred horses from utter exhaustion, and 
in which, at one time, they were for fifty-six hours in the 
saddle, with orders to lose not even time enough to water 
their horses, but press on the enemy at every hazard; a 
movement which resulted in a complete baffling of the plans 
of the vigilant enemy, and his final ruin. 

On the second day's march, October 2d, the scouts reported 
that Price's army, only five miles distant, was pressing for- 
ward with all possible haste on a parallel line with ours, for 
the capital at Jefferson City. 


The population, generally favorable to the rebels, furnished 
them all possible aid, while they hindered and obstructed our 
forces as far as they dared. 

The rebel veterans, inured to hardship, born and brought 
up in the bush, accustomed to coarse and scanty rations, were 
among the most effective troops in the world. But the brave 
boys in blue, marching with all possible speed, finally baffled 
their foes, and reached the capital a few hours in advance of 
the rebels. 

Hasty preparations for a vigorous defence were made. 
The men worked with energy, for the rebs outnumbered them 
three to one. The 17th had the post of honor and of danger 
upon the extreme right of the city, — a position on which, 
from the nature of the ground, the principal attack was 
expected. Breastworks were thrown up, and General Neill 
addressed the 17th, warning them to expect a fierce onset 
from the enemy, and to stand their ground bravely. 

Trice, finding our troops prepared to make a brave defence, 
after an attack upon the center, on the 4th, withdrew his 
forces in the night, and moved northwestwardly upon Boone- 

Colonel Beveridge, scouting with a few attendants early on 
the morning of the 5th, discovered the new movement of the 
enemy, and in a few hours the whole Federal army was in 
hurried pursuit. General Pleasanton having now arrived, the 
whole cavalry force was organized as one division, with Gen- 
eral Sanborn in command, Colonel Beveridge having charge 
of the 2d Brigade of four regiments, and Major Matlack 
under him of the 17th regiment. 

Hard marching for six days brought our cavalry upon the 
rebels, posted in strong force at Booneville. Their shirmish- 
ers were driven in, and a strong line of battle being developed, 
our forces awaited the morning, at which time Colonel Bever- 
idge was ordered to attack. The 5th Missouri and the 17th 
Illinois attacked at four o'clock in the morning. The 5th, in 
advance, found the sleepless rebel foe prepared for the onset; 


but the rebels were driven more than a mile, with great loss 
to them, and many wounded on our side. 

The 17th now had the advance, and the foe, reinforced, 
was detained by its assaults till the main army, a day behind, 
could be brought up. The 17th retired beyond a bridge when 
the fight had commenced, tearing it up on their passage, and 
were amused at seeing the rebel artillery playing for some 
hours upon the line where they had been posted, and where 
they supposed them still located. The Federal reinforcements 
now coming up, the enemy evacuated Booneville, and fled 
toward Lexington. 

A re- organization of the cavalry now placed Colonel Bev- 
eridge in immediate command of the 17th, and moving rapidly 
through Lexington, they overtook the enemy near Inde- 
pendence. Here the 17th, dismounted, was deployed on the 
left, while a dashing charge of the Missouri and Kansas cav- 
alry captured a number of the rebel cannon. 

At midnight of the 22d the brigade left Independence going 
towards Hickman, where the rebels were encountered next day 
at noon. Pleasanton, at this point, had arranged for and 
anticipated the entire destruction of the rebel army. But a 
delay in the advance of McNiell's brigade of cavalry disap- 
pointed their calculations, and it was allowed to escape. 

When the main column of the brigade under McNiell finally 
attacked the head of the rebel column, the 17th was ordered 
to form a separate column, and strike them on the flank. 

The boys of the 17th, who had been terribly chafed by the 
unaccountable delay, received this cheering order with delight. 
With shouts they rushed a half-mile over a plain, then down 
a rugged ravine, slowly climbed a hill beyond, on through the 
woods, and then were preparing to capture Price's wagon 
train, the main-stay of his army, slowly passing before their 
eyes, when, to their infinite chagrin, a positive order from 
McNiell re-called them to support a battery in front, and 
they were forced to relinquish the coveted opportunity for 
high distinction and most effective service. 


Late on the next day the brigade joined Pleasanton, still 
pursuing the retreating Price. The tired and exhausted army 
still made sixty miles on that day, passing Curtis, with his 
reinforcements of Kansas troops. 

The enemy was finally encountered again, and after a cold 
and rainy night, without supper or breakfast, at early dawn 
of October 26th, the army again attacked the enemy, and on 
this day fought the battle of Mine Creek, capturing the rebel 
Generals Marmaduke and Cabel, with a thousand prisoners, 
and ten pieces of artillery. 

Still the brave boys of the 17th pressed forward, buoyed 
with the hope of capturing the whole rebel army, and ending 
the war in Missouri. 

For fifty-six hours they were in the saddle. The rebels 
preceding them captured all the fresh horses in the country, 
and still kept in advance. Hundreds of our horses, after 
being kept on the gallop till they could go no longer, would 
fall into a slow trot, and then either fall to the ground or 
stand stock still, refusing for the spur or the most furious 
beating to move another step. The dismounted trooper would 
strip his saddle and accoutrements from his horse, and carry 
them on his own back, hoping to find a fresher horse to place 
them on. Jack Houghton, of De Kalb, one of the best of 
soldiers, once carried his saddle fourteen miles before he got 
another horse. 

The scattered remnant of the rebel forces finally escaped 
over the line into Arkansas, and the brigade ceased the pur- 
suit at Springfield, Missouri, and soon returned to Rolla, 
which place was reached November 15th, 18G4. During the 
previous forty-three days the regiment had marched one 
thousand miles and lost six hundred horses. Less than one 
hundred and fifty mounted men came back from that terribly 
destructive, continuous pursuit of this untiring foe. 

The winter now set in. 

Colonel Beveridge was brevetted Brigadier-General, and 
put in command of a military district in the department of 


Missouri. Lieutenant-Colonel Hynes, Chief of Cavalry of 
North Missouri district, on General Fisk's staff, was relieved, 
and returned to the regiment, for a time being in command 
of a military sub-district, with headquarters at Pilot Knob. 
Major Hilliard, on duty in North Missouri, was re-called to 
the regiment and put in command. Major Matlack was de- 
tailed by order of General Dodge as Provost Marshal of the 
district of St. Louis, and by the same officer Major Fisher 
was made Chief of Cavalry for the district of Rolla. 

The spring of 1865 found the regiment, under the command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Hynes, at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. 

At this time the armies of the East, under Generals Grant, 
Sherman and Sheridan, had crushed the rebellion east of the 
Mississippi. West of the great river the nearest rebel force 
was that of Jeff. Thompson, reported at sixty thousand men- 

Early in May Major-General Dodge sent out commissioners 
to offer Thompson terms of surrender, and the 17th was 
chosen as an escort. Four companies, under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Hynes, crossed the St. Francis river at Chalk Bluffs; 
four companies, under Major Hilliard, with a section of ar- 
tillery, encamped twelve miles in the rear ; while the commis- 
sioners went forward to Jonesboro, Arkansas, and returned 
on the 9th of May with Jeff. Thompson, who arranged the 
surrender of his forces. 

It took place at Wittsburg May 25th, and at Jacksonport 
June 5th, the total being six thousand men, — just one-tenth 
of what was reported. 

This was the last of the rebellion, and the last time that 
the 17th met the foe in arms. 

Late in May the regiment, re-mounted, was shipped to 
Kansas City to guard a portion of Missouri, containing five 
Counties, from which the entire population had been driven 
out on account of their furnishing a harbor for guerrillas. 

After remaining about five months Major Butts, with three 
companies, was ordered to Fort Larned. Company C, now 
under Captain Waite, had been stationed at Trading Post, a 


small village near Fort Scott, — a very unhealthy location, — 
and most of its members had become ill. They were reported 
unfit for duty, and ordered to Fort Leavenworth to recruit 
their health. 

The men of the 1 7th were sadly disappointed at not being 
discharged when the war was over, and some of the companies 
had some trouble in maintaining discipline and preventing 
desertion ; but the men of the De Kalb County Company 
made no opposition to the orders of their officers. It was not 
till the winter of 1865-b'G that the regiment was finally mus- 
tered out at Fort Leavenworth, and the men returned to their 

From the ranks of Company C nine commissioned officers 
were promoted. Its Captain, J. D. Butts, was commissioned 
Major in April, 1865, and subsequently, in December, bre- 
vetted Lieutenant-Colonel of U. S. Volunteers. It furnished, 
also, a 1st Lieutenant, in the person of D. E. Butts, of De 
Kalb; a Quartermaster, Philo Judson; a Commissary, John 
A. Colton, of Genoa ; and five 2d Lieutenants, — Robert Sou- 
ders, Albert V. Ammet, Thomas Hickman, Egbert Johnson, 
and Thomas Searle. 

The service performed by the 17th has been a most honor- 
able one ; their record may well inspire its members with pride. 

Enlisted Men of DeKalb County, 17th Illinois Cav. 


John V. Henry, Somonauk, promoted from 105th Illinois Infantry. 


Charles Price, Sandwich, died at Weston, Mo., Sept. 18, 1*04. 
Edward Baker, Squaw Grove, deserted Sept. 10, 1865. 



Charles Chapel, South Grove, mustered out Nov. 23, 1805. 


Joshua K. Nichols, Maytield, promoted 2d Lieutenant. 

Charles Goodrich, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. private. 

Daniel II. Lindsay, Maytield, mustered out Nov. 24, 1865, private. 


George L. Fisher, Sycamore, mustered out July 20, 1865. 
John A Trude, Maytield, mustered out Nov. 211, 1865, private. 
Jonathan Houghton, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865, private. 
Charles II. Green, Sycamore, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865, private. 


Horace Tenuant, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23. 1865. 
Benjamin F. Harroun, Sycamore, mustered out Aug 8, 18G5. 


W. H. Lindsay, May field., absent sick at muster out. 
Charles A. Brett, DeKalb, mustered out as private. 


Joseph Cheesbro, Sycamore, mustered out June 5, 1865, private. 


Ames Oliver, Malta, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Beardsley Elijah, Maytield, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

I'eemis Henry, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Benedict Alfred N., Cortland, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Cunningham Thomas, Pierce, died at DeKalb April 6, 1864. 

Croff Gyrus E., Cortland, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Collson M. E., Cortland, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Carver Charles B., Malta, died in Lee county, Illinois, August 10, 1864. 

Courser Milton, Sycamore, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Churchill Men/.o, Cortland, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Colton John A.. Genoa, promoted 1st Lieutenant. 

Dowd Frank, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Downs Charles M., Cortland, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Daily Francis, Sycamore, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

Cardner Alfred, Sycamore, died at St. Joseph August 10, 1864. 

Gardner James, Sycamore, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 


Gage Amaza, Squaw Grove, mustered out Nov. 23, 18135. 
Holderness J. C, Malta, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Harding Zora, Afton, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Ingham Ellis, Cortland, mustered out Nov. 23, 1805. 
Johnson Charles, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 18(35. 
Lamb James, Sycamore, died at Alton July, 18(34. 
Losee Rufus, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Moxom P. S., DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Muzzey Ira C, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 18(35. 
Price Rensellaer, DeKalb, died at Alton, Illinois, June, 1864. 
Peterson Anderson, detached at muster out of regiment. 
Perkins John N., Sycamore, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Reid Henry, DeKalb, died July 20, 1864. 
Rogers Charles, Sycamore, mustered out Nov. 23, 1 8(55. 
Sipp Samuel L., Malta, deserted Nov. 1, 1805. 
Stewart James H., Sycamore, mustered out Nov. 23, 18(35. 
Wager Ira, DeKalb, mustered out May 25, 1865. 
Whitmore Charles, DeKalb, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
VanOlinder E. E., Somonauk, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 


Beardsley Earl A., Somonauk, mustered out Nov. 23, 1805, as Sergeant. 
Burgess Albert, Somonauk, absent sick at muster out. 
Brookins James, Somonauk, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Brown Hamilton, Victor, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Beardsley W. II., Victor, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Baker Alonzo L., Shabbona, mustered out Nov. 23. 1865. 
Freer H. T., DeKalb, mustered out July 5, 1865. 
Criffin Justus, Afton, mustered out Oct. 4, 1865. 
Haish Abram, Pierce, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Labrant L, Pierce, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865, as Sergeant. 
Patridge Zelotas, Pierce, mustered out Oct. 4, 1865. 
Ramer Anthoii}', Pierce, mustered out as Co. Q. M. Sergeant. 
Schoonover John A., DeKalb, mustered out July 5, 1865. 
Townsend Solomon, Somonauk, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 


John M. Osbom, Clinton, mustered out as private. 

John F. T. J. McKinney, Clinton, discharged October, 1864, 

Harrison S. Andrews, Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865. 


Bechtel Samuel, Sandwich, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865. 

Cunningham John, Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 18(35. 

Field Robert, Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865, as Corporal. 

Gorham Ed. E., Sandwich, mustered out. Dec. 20, 1865. 

Lillard Joseph jk., Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1805. 

Ledbetter Job, Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865. 

Lillard William E., Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865. 

Morse William H., Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865. 

Polan Samuel, Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 18(35. 

Snowball Charles, Kingston, mustered out Dec. 20, 18(35. 

Wimer John R., Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865, as Q. M. Sergeant. 

Williams Lewis, Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 18(35, as Q. M. Sergeant. 

Clemmens A. J., Clinton, mustered out Dec. 20, 1865. 

Emerson Freeman, Sycamore, discharged for disability. 



In. ..'.;.. Li ai-.iiiliin-Al'o.Clii 


BanfieM Benjamin, Malta, dishonorably discharged. 
Depue Richard D., Sycamore, mustered out Dec. 16, 1865. 
Gear Benjamin, Cortland, mustered out Dec. 18, 186"). 
Siglin Isaiah, Sycamore, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865. 
Siglin Joshua, Sycamore, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865. 
Tenscott Richard, Sycamore, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865. 
VanDeusen John A., Sycamore, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865. 
Wright Halbert, Sycamore, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865, as Corporal. 
Hubner Charles, mustered out Oct. 3, 1865. 


Bailey Austin R,, Genoa. 

Bailey Frank H., Genoa. 

Chase Jacob H., Genoa, died at Kansas City, July 11, 1865. 

Dewberry Joseph, Pawpaw, deserted Sept. 11, 1864. 

Hill George, Genoa, mustered out Oct. lit), 1865. 

Stewart Morris, Pierce, mustered out Oct. 9, 1865. 
Depue Nicholas, Genoa, mustered out Oct. 9, 1865. 
Norris S. W., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 9, 1865. 


Fifty-Eighth Illinois Infantry. 

Fifty-eighth Illinois Infantry. 

Few regiments in the service saw more hard fighting, or 
endured a more varied and severe experience, than the 58th 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry. It was organized at Camp 
Douglas, in Chicago, and mustered into the service on the 25th 
of December, 1861. 

Its first field officers were : Colonel, William F. Lynch 
Lieutenant-Colonel, Isaac Rutishauser ; Major, Thomas New- 
lan. Colonel Lynch was a resident of Elgin, Kane County, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Rutishauser of Somonauk, DeKalb County, 
and Major Newlan of Aurora, Kane County. 

Company C of this regiment was raised in the town of 
Shahhona and its neighborhood. Its officers were : Captain, 
Gr. W. Kittell ; 1st Lieutenant, S. W. Smith ; 2nd Lieutenant, 
Joseph Gr. Burt of Chicago. 

A portion of Company G was also from DeKalb County. 

Its Captain was Bewley of Dement. Rev. Job Moxom, 

an eloquent preacher and a heroic soldier, recruited a large 
portion of Company G, but was mustered into Company I as 
2nd Lieutenant. A part of Company E was also from this 
County : so that our County was well represented in the 58th 
regiment. The regiment remained at Camp Douglas until the 
month of February, 1862, when it was removed to Cairo, 
where it was embarked on a steam transport for Fort Donel- 
son, at which place it arrived on the morning of the 14th, just 


in time to participate in the capture of that place, which sent 
such a thrill of joy all over the land. 

Disembarked at sunrise, the regiment was marched imme- 
diately to the scene of the conflict, thus being ushered into the 
midst of blood and carnage in three days from the time it left 
home. A few of the men had seen some service, but most of 
them were entirely unused to the duties of the soldier, and 
fresh from civil life. Arms were furnished them for the first 
time while at Cairo, and accoutrements and ammunition while 
on the boat. One-half the men until that time had never 
seen a cartridge, and many of them had never loaded a gun 
until they loaded them for service against the enemy. For- 
tunately the regiment saw no severe service on the first day, 
but was employed in skirmishing and maneuvering. On the 
second day they were iu the midst of the fight, and behaved 
remarkably well for green troops. Three of them were killed 
and nine were wounded. 

The fort was surrendered, and, following its fall, the 58th 
marched with the army to Fort Henry, participated in the 
capture of that fort, and remained there until under General 
Grant it moved up the Tennessee river to Shiloh or Pittsburg 
Landing. It now formed a part of General H. L. Wallace's 
division. In the ever-memorable battle which occurred a 
this place, the division was in the center of the line of battle 
on the first disastrous day, and held the main Corinth road to 
the landing. It is a matter of history that this division did 
some of the hardest fighting on that day. 

At about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, all the field officers and 
about two-thirds of the line officers, with two hundred of its 
men, were taken prisoners, and for many months after, endur- 
ed the horrors of the rebel prison-pens at Mobile, Cahaba, 
Selma, Macon, Montgomery, Griffin, and finally in Libby 
Prison in Richmond. Companies A, C and G were on the 
skirmish-line at this time, and most of them escaped capture. 
Fifty-nine were killed and wounded, and two hundred and 
twenty were captured. The loss of Company C was two men 


killed and thirteen wounded. Oliver B. Wilson of Malta was 
the first man killed from our County. Captain Bewley of 
Company G was killed, and Captain K. P. Rutishauser of 
Somonauk met the same fate. Corporal William F. Williams 
of Company C lost an arm, and subsequently died of the 
wound ; and Lieutenant Moxom was severely wounded. He 
managed to crawl behind an old log which lay on 
the field, across which the fight was kept up for several 
hours, and, in spite of his efforts, was twice again wounded 
while he lay there ; but, after remaining there two days, he 
was rescued and recovered, and is now doing good service as 
pastor of a large and flourishing church in Michigan. 

The Union line of battle was formed by the side of this 
cleared field, and that of the rebels was in the timber on the 
opposite side, which was about four hundred yards distant. 
The rebels made several attempts to cross this field, but were 
each time driven back with great slaughter. A rebel battery 
posted in the woods opposite this regiment annoyed our force, 
aud Companies C and E were ordered forward as skirmishers 
to some buildings which stood near the center of the field, with 
orders to silence the battery if possible. This work was soon 
accomplished, but the battery was now moved around to the 
right, and commenced an enfilading fire upon our men behind 
the building. A retreat was ordered; but, in the confusion? 
five men who were in a cotton-house at the left of the others 
failed to hear the order, and remained at their posts. When 
the companies had retired, the rebels moved forward and held 
the same ground that our men had abandoned. The men in 
the cotton-house were now cut off from the opportunity to 
retreat, and seemed to be obliged to surrender ; but, to avoid 
this, three of them jumped into the building, and concealed 
themselves beneath the mass of loose cotton. Sergeant Chas. 
0. Wheaton of Company C remained outside, but stepped 
around the corner of the house. Five rebs came around 
where Wheaton stood, gun in hand, with fixed bayonet. One 
says: "You are our prisoner."' Wheaton replied that he 


supposed so, for he saw no use in further resistance. Another 

says : "D n him, let us shoot him!" and both raised their 

guns to fire. Wheaton, seeing this, thought he -would sell his 
life as dearly as possible, made ready, and the three fired at 
once. One rebel fell dead : one ball passed through Wheaton's 
clothing, carrying away his canteen, and the other shattered 
his left hand, and glanced from his gun-barrel. The living 
rebel now made a bayonet thrust at AVheaton, which he dodged, 
and, before the grayback could recover, ran his bayonet through 
his heart. 

Three rebels now lay dead at his feet ; and, seeing no more 
on that side of the house, he also jumped into the cotton, and 
concealed himself, thinking that the rebels might be driven 
back, and all could escape to our lines. But they had not 
this good fortune. Our troops were steadily driven back, 
and, two hours after, our boys were discovered, marched back 
to Monterey, and placed in a log house which was used for a 
hospital. Sergeant Wheaton and Job Davis of Company C — 
one of the boys who hid in the cotton — concluded that they 
would go no farther unless they were carried: so Davis bound 
up his leg with bloody bandages, made an artificial bullet-hole 
in his pants, and enacted the part of a soldier wounded in the 
leg. On Monday morning all the prisoners who could walk 
were ordered to fall in, and were marched off; but Wheaton 
and Davis, Avho appeared unable to march, were left behind : 
and, in the general stampede which ensued, when the rebel 
army was beaten on that day, they escaped in the confusion, 
and both reached our camp — Davis on Tuesday night and 
Wheaton on Wednesday. 

. Following the fight at Shiloh, the shattered remnant of the 
oJSth was united with similar fragments of the Sth, the 12th 
and the 14th Iowa, and called the Union brigade. Three 
captains, G. W. Kittell and R. W. Healy, of the 58th, and 
Captain Fowler of the 12th Iowa Avere detailed to serve as 
field officers. 


The Union brigade formed a part of the 2nd Division of the 
Army of the Tennessee, commanded by General Davies. The 
grand army commenced the advance upon Corinth on the 20th 
of April, and the 2nd Division served in the advance during 
the siege that followed. Being placed in the center of the 
line, the regiment was as much exposed and saw as much 
skirmishing as any portion of the army. It lost a number of 
good men who were killed and wounded. 

Corinth was at last evacuated by the rebels, and our regi- 
ment followed the foe to Boonville, and then, as they seemed 
to have escaped us, returned to Corinth, where it remained 
doing garrison duty till October 3d, 1862, when the great 
battle of Corinth was fought and won. The rebels under 
Price, YanDorn and Vilapyne were severely Avhipped and fol- 
lowed up to Ripley. 

Our 2nd Division was in the front of the battle on both 
days, and suffered severely. The division numbered only 
3100 men, and of these they lost 1040 in killed, wounded and 
prisoners, of whom only fifty were prisoners. All the brigade 
commanders were either killed or wounded. The Union brig. 
ade had only 350 men engaged, and lost 110 killed and 
wounded and seven prisoners. Of the men of Company C, 
four were wounded, among them Sergeant J. C. Wright of 
Shabbona, who had his leg shattered by one ball and his arm 
broken by another. He was left on the field, and picked up 
by the enemy, who amputated his leg and dressed his wounds, 
but left him when they retreated. He was wounded on Fri- 
day, and was not found till Sunday night, and meantime had 
nothing to eat or drink. 

After remaining at Corinth till December, the 58th was 
ordered to Springfield, Illinois, to reorganize and recruit, and 
remained guarding rebel prisoners and filling up its depleted 
ranks till June 20th, 1863, when it was sent to Cairo. One 
company was then sent to Mound City, and three — A, B and 
C — to Paducah, Ky., under command of Captain Kittell of 
Company C. Here they were constantly engaged in scouring 


the country for bushwhackers, and had many startling adven- 
tures and hair-breadth escapes. 

On the 28th of January, 1864, the regiment, which had 
been reunited at Cairo, started by steamer for Vicksburg. It 
was now in the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division of the 16th Army 
Corps, and under command of General A. J. Smith. 

On the 2nd of February it started on Sherman's great raid 
to Meridian, returning March 6th, after having marched four 
hundred miles, destroyed one hundred miles of railroad, and 
had daily skirmishes with the enemy, in which it lost two 
wounded and six prisoners. 

On the 10th of March, the 16th and 17th Army Corps left 
for Red river, where the troops were disembarked in the night 
of the 13th, and commenced a march across the country to 
Fort DeRussey. Arriving there at five o'clock in the after- 
noon, the fort was immediately stormed and captured by our 
1st and 2nd Brigades, with a loss of sixty-five killed and 
wounded, the 58th regiment losing seven of the number. Next 
day it embarked for Alexandria, where the army awaited the 
arrival of General Banks from New Orleans. 

Now, after many delays, commenced the grand expedition 
of General Banks up Red river. Accompanied by Commo- 
dore Porter's gunboats, the army proceeded, a part by land 
and a part by water, to Grand Ecore, at which point all fit for 
duty, disembarked and marched for Shreveport. The fleet, 
with the sick and disabled on board, proceeded up the river 
to the same destination. 

On the 8th of April our army met the enemy at Sabin e 
Cross-Roads, and suffered a repulse. Our forces were scat- 
tered along the road for twenty miles, the 13th Corps in the 
advance, the 19th following it, and the 16th Corps in the rear. 
Before assistance could arrive, the 13th was overpowered and 
driven from the field in great confusion, losing 500 killed and 
wounded, 1000 prisoners, 80 wagons and 18 pieces of artillery. 
Next day, however, we made a stand at Pleasant Hill, and won 
a handsome victory. Skirmishing commenced at daylight 


and continued till five A. M., when the rebels, strongly rein- 
forced, made a desperate charge upon the center of our line ; 
and at the first fire, a brigade of eastern troops broke and 
ran. In a pine thicket at the left of this brigade the 58th 
•was posted. It immediately changed front to the right, and 
charged upon the flank of the pursuing foe. The charge was 
so well executed, and so unexpected, that they faltered, turn- 
ed back, and, at a much quicker rate than they came, they 
turned and fled to the woods, closely pursued by the gallant 
little band. Here they turned, and were about surrounding 
our solitary regiment, when it fell back in good order to escape 
capture. While this was being done, our flying troops were 
rallied, our reserves brought up, a grand charge made by our 
whole line, and the enemy was routed and pursued till dark- 
ness put an end to the fight. 

In this charge over over one thousand prisoners were cap- 
tured, the 58th taking more than its own number. In this 
action the 58th won great honor. General Stone says that 
but for the valor of this regiment, the battle of Pleasant Hill 
would have been a disastrous defeat. Its loss was 35 killed 
and wounded, of whom Company C lost only two wounded 
— a remarkably small loss, considering that, for over an hour, 
it was in a hand-to-hand fight, and that nearly every man had 
his clothing pierced with bullets. 

To our great surprise, although the rebel army was routed, 
and running like frightened sheep, General Banks ordered a 
retreat before daylight next morning, leaving our dead and 
wounded, with several batteries of artillery, and the small 
arms of the numerous dead and wounded of both armies. 

Two days of hard marching brought the army back to 
Grand Ecore, from whence we fought our way back to Alex- 
andria. Here the river, which had fallen since the gunboats 
ascended, was dammed to enable them to pass over the falls ; 
and two weeks were required to accomplish this work, during 
which time we were engaged in defending ourselves from rebel 
attacks, and collecting forage. 


The 58th was frequently engaged in severe skirmishes, 
amounting almost to battles. 

On the 14th we began fighting our way down the river 
again ; and, on the 18th, while Banks was crossing the Atch- 
afalaya, which was now very high, the 16th Corps lay at Yel- 
low Bayou, three miles distant, as rear guard. The rebels 
here drove in our pickets. General Mower now crossed the 
bayou and drove them back ; and the rebs in turn sent a large 
infantry force, with twenty pieces of artillery, which opened 
upon our corps at short range. General Smith now brought 
up three batteries of artillery, another brigade of infantry 
and some cavalry, to protect our left flank, and sent to General 
Banks for reinforcements, stating that the whole rebel army 
had attacked him, and that if he would send the 19th Corps 
to turn the enemy's right flank, a complete victory could be 
obtained. Banks answered that General Smith had gone into 
the fight without orders, and must get out the best he could. 
The enemy had taken a strong position behind a breastwork 
of rails. General Mower ordered a charge ; and, amid fearful 
slaughter, the rebels were driven out of their works and back 
to their reserves. In this charge Colonel Lynch of the 58th 
was wounded, and four color-bearers were successively shot 
down ; but, as often as they fell, other hands were ready to 
take them, and bear them on to victory again. 

The artillery now opened upon our forces more fiercely 
than ever ; and a large force endeavored, amid sharp resist- 
ance from the cavalrv, to turn our left flank. In fine order 
our forces now fell back and left the field they had so dearly 
won, carrying off' all their wounded and most of their arms. 
The enemy followed up to their former breastworks ; and, as 
soon as our wounded were removed, another charge was made 
upon them. This proved more desperate than the former : 
for they had formed a double line of battle, and were deter- 
mined to resist the charge. Our men swept over the breast- 
works like the rush of a tornado, and the rebels flew like 
leaves before the gale. In this last charge, four more of the 


color-bearers of the 58th were shot down ; and, the last time, 
the colors were taken by a commissioned officer, and borne 
over the rebels' works. 

The battle raged till sunset, when fighting ceased by mutual 
consent. Our men bore away their wounded and their arms, 
and then crossed the bayou. The day was intensely hot, and 
many were overcome by the heat and carried from the field. 
The loss of the 58th was sixty-five in killed and wounded, 
among whom was Sergeant Elijah Curtis, who was here 
wounded for the third time — first in the foot at Shiloh, second 
in a leg at Corinth, and now a ball passed through both thighs. 

General Banks reported this battle as an artillery duel of 
little consequence, which took place while he was crossing the 

Next day the 15th Corps followed Banks across the river, 
and on the 20th the whole army reached the landing at the 
mouth of the Mississippi. 

This ended the disastrous Banks expedition up Red river. 
From the 14th of March, when we captured Fort DeRussey, 
till we arrived at Red river landing, on the 20th of May, not 
a day passed without more or less of fighting. The total loss 
of the 58th Regiment was one hundred and ten men in killed 
and wounded. 

On the 22d day of May, the 16th Army Corps embarked 
on board the transports that had accompanied them in this long 
and disastrous expedition, and started up the river. They 
arrived at Vicksburg in due time. Here the veterans of the 
58th were mustered into the United States service for three 
years more, about two hundred having re enlisted. After 
remaining here four days, the army started for Memphis, but 
found the river blockaded by the rebel General Marmaduke 
at Columbia. The army landed at daylight one morning in a 
furious rain-storm, and found the rebels about three miles from 
the place of landing, posted in a heavy timber lining the west 
bank of a lagoon too deep to be forded. The only crossing- 
place was a narrow bridge, which was swept by shell and 


canister shot from a rebel battery at short range. A charge 
as ordered, and the bridg3 was crossed, with a loss of thirty 
men killed and seventy wounded. As soon as the bridge was 
crossed, the enemy fled, leaving a part of their dead and 
wounded on the field. Their loss was small compared with 
ours, as they fought under cover. Our men pursued them 
about ten miles, then turned their course for the transports. 

We arrived at Memphis just as the stragglers from the Gun 
Town fight, under General Sturgis, were coming in. The 
veterans of the 58th received their furloughs, and started for 
home June 28th, and the remainder of the army under A. J. 
Smith, started in pursuit of the rebel General Forest, who, 
being encouraged by his victory over Sturgis, and out-gener- 
aled by the strategy of General Smith, was compelled to fight 
at Tupello, Miss. The action commenced at daylight by the 
enemy's skirmishers and artillery which continued until about 
10 A. M., when the rebs charged with their whole force. 
When within a few rods of our men, they were met with a 
counter-charge which they could not stand, they turned and 
fled from the field in great confusion, followed closely by our 
men. The dead and wounded of the enemy fell into our 
hands, and about two hundred prisoners ; a few wagons and 
great numbers of small arms. 

Our loss was about two hundred killed, wounded and miss- 
ing ; that of the 58th was five killed and ten wounded. Com- 
pany C lost none, as there were only fifteen present, the oth- 
ers being home on veteran furlough. 

The army returned to Memphis, as the rebel army now broke 
up into small parties and scattered through the country, ready 
to be whistled together again as soon as the danger was over. 
Smith and his troops had not been in Memphis over a week 
before Forest and his graybacks were within twenty miles of 
that place, as saucy as ever, but more cautious. 

On the 6th of August, the veterans of the regiment, who 
had been at home enjoying the usual veteran furlough granted 
to all who re-enlisted, returned to the regiment, and, on the 


following day, were sent out on the Oxford raid, returning on 
the 30th. 

On the 5th of September we began a campaign against Price 
in Missouri, and reached Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, on the 
29th of September. On the 2nd of October we left St. Louis, 
marching on the long and arduous campaign known as the 
Price raid, through Missouri to the borders of Kansas. This 
the veterans of the 58th, although inured by long service to 
every hardship, found to be one of the most severe and 
laborious of all their campaigns. They marched with great 
rapidity, were frequently in action, and most of the time were 
poorly supplied with rations. 

Returning to St. Louis, November 18th, it was now ordered 
to Nashville, Tenn., which place it reached on the 1st of De- 
cember, and on the 15th and 16th was engaged in the severe 
battles at that city, and, on the I7th, joined in the pursuit of 
the retreating army of Hood, following it as far as Eastport, 

The term of the original organization expiring on the 6th 
of February, 1865, those who had not re-enlisted were order- 
ed home, and the veterans and recruits, amounting to 390 
men, were consolidated into four companies, and known as the 
"Battalion of the 58th Illinois Infantry." Major R. W. 
Healy being retained in command, the battalion left for New 
Orleans, and in March joined Canby's army in its operations 
against Mobile. On the 9th of March it was in the front line 
in the grand charge which captured Fort Blakeley. While at 
Mobile it was joined by six new companies, raising it to a full 
regiment again. 

The last of April it was stationed at Montgomery, Alabama, 
and continued in service there until April 1st, 1866, when it 
was finally mustered out of the service, after having been on 
duty more than four years and a half. The record of no reg- 
iment in the service is more brilliant, nor will redound more 
to the honor of its members, than that of the brave, hard- 
worked old 58th Illinois Volunteers. 

Men of DeKalb County in the 58th Illinois Inf. 



Isaac Rutishauser, Somonauk, honorably discharged, Jan. 27, 1865. 


Job Moioro, DeKalb, wounded, resigned March 2, 1868. 


George W. Kittell, Shabbona, mustered out; time expired. 


Sanford W. Smith, Shabbona, resigned May 10, 1862. 
Henry Smith, Shabbona. transferred as consolidated. 



Karl A. Rutishauser, Somonauk, died of wounds, St. Louis, May 18, 18C2. 


Joseph Staufl'er, Somonauk, resigned May 21, 1862. 




Losle William, Cortland, Sergeant, kil'ed at Shiloh, April 6, 18C2. 
Packard Dwight, Conland, killed at Shiloh, April 6, 1862. 
Packard VV. O., Cortland, discharged for disability. 



Henry Smith, Shabbona, promoted 2nd Lieutenant. 

Charles O. Wheaton, Shabbona, discharged for wounds received at Shiloh. 

Sosiah C. Wright, Shabbona, discharged April 10, 1863, for disability. 

James M. Round, Shabbona, died July 29, 1862. 

Franklin 0. Stephens, Shabbona, discharged June 17, 1862, for disability. 


Cyrus A. Nelson, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Levi W. Park, Shabbona, deserted Jan. 31, 1865. 

William F. Williams, Shabbona, died June 13, 1862, of wounds. 

Lyman Grover, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 



Baker John L., Shabbona, discharged for disability. 

Blair Labon, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Ball Daniel F., Shabbona, deserted at Camp Douglas, 111. 

Cook Henry H., Shabbona, trans. Jan. 4, 1864, to Bat, H, 1st Mo. Lt. Art 

Curtis Elijah, Shabbona, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865, as Sergeant. 

Cornish John W., Shabbona, trans Feb. 1, 1804, to Bat. H, Mo. Lt. Art. 

Davis Joseph, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Damuth George, Jr., Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Flick George, Shabbona, deserted at Camp Douglas, 111. 

Filkins Nelson, Shabbona, died at St. Louis May 21, 1862. 

Goodell Henry C, Shabbona, discharged as a minor. 

Horton William, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Hunt Theodore H., Shabbona. discharged for disability. 

Hinds William W., Shabbona, deserted July 1, 1862. 

Hamblin John A., Shabbona, discharged May 20, 1802. 

Johnson Charles, Shabbona, discharged August 25, 1862, for disability. 

Kelly James, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Lumbkins Josiah, Shabbona, deserted. 

Muzzy John A., Shabbona, died at Brownsville, Miss., March 6, 1864. 

Morris John, Shabbona, mustered out Dec. 1/', 1864. 

Nichols Byron, Shabbona, died at Paducah, Ky., Jan. 1, 1864. 

Perkins George, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Price Richard C, Shabbona, deserted. 

Ruddy Anthony, Shabbona, deserted Dec. 1, 1862. 

Scott Miles D., Shabbona, deserted. 

Simpson William, Shabbona, trans. Feb. 14, 1864, to Bat. K, 1st Mo. Lt. Art. 

Shehan Timothy, Shabbona, re-enllsted as veteran. 

Todd Owen, Shabbona, detached in 1st Missouri Light Artillery. 

Tompkins John, Shabbona, deserted. 

Unwin William, Shabbona, deserted July 20, 1802. 

VanDeventer Erwin, Shabbona, captured at Shiloh, April 0, 1862. 

VanVoltenburg John, Shabbona, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865. 

AVitherspoon Frederick, Shabbona, discharged as a minor. 

Williamson William, Shabbona, trans. Jan. 4,1864, to Bat. H, 1st Mo. Art, 

Witherspoon Edmund, Shabbona, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865. 

Whitbeck James, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Weston Edson H,, Shabbona, discharged June 20, 1862, for disability. 

Woodward William, Shabbona, deserted July 20, 1802. 

Wigton Charles C, Shabbona, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Nelson Cyrus A., Shabbona, Sergeant, trans, to Co. C as consolidated. 

Harris Oraoge P., Afton, Sergeant, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Perkins George, Shabbona, Serjeant, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Horton William, Shabbona, Corporal, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Grover James, Shabbona, Corporal, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Kelly James, Shabbona, Corporal, deserted Dec. 1, 1864. 

Whetbeck James, Shabbona, Corporal, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Blair Laban, Shabbona, deserted Dec. 1, 1864. 

Damuth George, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Davis Job, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Grover Lyman, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C ag consolidated. 

Shehan Timothy, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Williams John, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Wigton Charles C, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Club Charles, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Clapsaddle Henry L., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Dugan James, Shabbona, discharged Nov. 7, 1863, for disability. 



'In.-.'".. I.ili,.,-r..|iliin-j i'.. I 1m 


Davis Harvey M., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

DeWolf William W., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Gates Charles, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Hamlin Horace A., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Harris Orange P., Afton, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Kennicutt Daniel. Shabbona Grove, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Kettle John N., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Lilly Charles, Shabbona, discharged June 17, 1862, for disability. 

Martin Daniel. Shabbona, discharged Jan. 20. 18(32 ; minor. 

Norton Francis, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Palm Dennis G., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Price George N., Shabbona, mustered out Feb. 7, 1805. 

Howe William H., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Simpson Elmer G., Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Smith Joseph Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Tjwn Russell, Shabbona Grove, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Town Daniel, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 

Wright Eugene, Shabbona, transferred to Co. C as consolidated. 


Brigham John, Somonauk, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865. 
Nielly Simon, Somonauk, killed at Shiloh, April 6, 1862. 



Henry Duft, Somonauk, died at Macon, Ga,, Oct. 15, 1862, while prisoner. 
Philip Haibach, Somonauk, deserted from Camp Butler, 111. 


Joseph Savasin, Somonauk, deserted Feb. 15, 1363. 

Friedrich Wehrle, Somonauk, discharged for disability. 

Henry Miller, Somonauk, died at Macon, Ga., Sept. 24, 1862, a prisoner. 

Hudolph Seidel, Somonauk, deserted June 20, 1862. 

Gustavus Seiler, Somonauk, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865. 

A nders Charles, Somonauk, discharged for disability. 

B ootz Joseph, Somonauk, mustered out Feb. 7. 1865. 

Biehlman Samuel, Somonauk, mustered out Feb. 7. 1865, 

Conway Denis, Somonauk, died at Camp Butler, 111. 

Dooley William, Somonauk, discharged Dec. 2, 1862, for disability. 

Gerold John, Somonauk, discharged Jan. 1, 1864, to re-enlist in 1st Mo. Art. 

Graf Samuel, Somonauk, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865. 

Goodrich Christopher, Somonauk,' discharged for disability. 

Hasken James, Somonauk, discharged for disability. 

Hecker Anton, Somonauk, discharge'd for disability. 

Henry William, Somonauk, discharged for disability. 

Krissman Louis, S omonauk, deserted Oct. 15, 1862. 

Steinbiss Frederick, Somonauk, deserted Feb. 15, 1863. 

Thompson William, Somonauk, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865. 


Beck Louis, Somonauk, died at Camp Butler, 111., May 5, 1863. 
Bradley Edward, Somonauk, died in rebel prison. 
Frank Philip, Somonauk, re-enlisted as veteran. 





Artlip Edward, Cortland, deserted Jan. 25, 1863. 

Artlip John, Cortland, discharged July 5, 1862, for disability. 

Albright Adelmar, Cortland, deserted June, 1862. 

Croft James, Somonauk, deserted May 1, 1862. 

Chamberlain Ebenezer L., Somonauk, discharged .lane 2, 1862; disability. 

Erkhort Daniel. Cortland, deserted Feb. 6, 1862. 

Grey Stephen, Pierceville, deserted Sept. 1, 1862. 

llogan William, Clinton, tranferred to Co. I, Jan. 5, 1862. 

Johnson Stephen, Pierceville, disc. Jan. '62, for prom, as Hosp. Stew. U.S. A. 

Johnson Sylvester M., Squaw Grove, transferred to Co. 15 as consolidated. 

Labrant Charles, Pierceville, died at St. Euuis May 12, 1862, from wounds 

Labrant Jonathan, Pierceville, mustered out Feb. 7, 1865, as Corporal. 

Ramer Philip, Pierceville, discharged Oct. 1:!, 1862, for disability. 

Raymond lleury E., Cortland, discharged Nov. 14, 1862, for disability. 

Smith .Moses. Pierceville, discharged Jan. 8, 1863, fur disability. 

Walker William P. J., Clinton, mustered out Feb. i", 1865: was prisoner. 

Wells Royal, Pierceville, re-enlisted as veteran. 


chwartz Michael, Clinton, deserted April 6, 1862. 
Schefnerr Alonzo, Clinton, mustered out April 17, 1865. 


Chamberlain Daniel. Somonauk, transferred to Co. G, Jan. ■">, 1862. 
Fargo William P., DeKalb, transferred to Co. G. Jan. •">. 1862. 
Griffith Horace, DeKalb, transferred to Co. G. Jan. 5, 1862. 
Hooker Lewis 1!.. DeKalb, transferred to Co. G. .Ian 5, 1862. 
Parker John C, DeKalb; transferred to Co. G. Jan. .">, 1862. 
Paisley Sylvester, DeKalb, transferred to Co. G, Jan. . r >, 1862. 
Turner Henry, DeKalb, transferred to Co. G, Jan. 5, 1862. 
Wolrod Charles, DeKalb, transferred to Co. G. Jan. 5, 1862. 


The 10th Illinois was first organized as a three-months 
regiment at Cairo, April 29th, 1861, under the command of 
Colonel B. M. Prentiss, and subsequently as a three-years 
regiment under Colonel James D. Morgan. Company C, of 
Sandwich, DeKalb County, is said to be the first full company 
raised in the United States under the first call of President 

Two weeks after the fall of Port Sumter, this company was 
ready for service, fitted with quaint home-made uniforms by 
the citizens of Sandwich, and on the 22nd of April was order- 
ed to, and started for, Cairo, an important strategic point, 
which was quickly seen to be of immense importance to the 
loyal cause. The occupation of Cairo was not effected a day 
too soon, for the country around it swarmed with disloyalists, 
and in a few days it would have been fortified by the traitors. 
The 10 th remained engaged in fortification and garrison du- 
ties at Cairo during its first three months' service. The regi- 
ment consisted of seven companies of infantry and three of 
artillery, and, during its brief term of service, engaged in 
expeditions to the rear of Columbus, in June, and to Benton, 
Missouri, in July. 

On the 29th of July it was re-organized, and mustered into 
the United States service for three years, with Colonel Morgan 
as its commander. 


On the 10th of January, 1862, it started on a raid through 
that portion of Kentucky which lies adjacent to Cairo, and 
accomplished the destruction of a large amount of property 
that was giving suppost to the rebels. 

On the 1st of March, in connection with the 7th cavalry, 
the regiment scattered Jeff. Thompson's guerrillas at Sykes- 
town, Mo., taking several prisoners and two guns. 

On the 10th of March it left Bird's Point, joined General 
Pope at New Madrid, driving the enemy's pickets and losing- 
Captain Can* and two men, and took part in frustrating the 
plans of the rebels, who were endeavoring to escape from Island 
Number Ten, causing the surrender of General Mackall and 
2500 men. 

On the 10th of April it returned to New Madrid, thence 
went to Osceola, near Fort Pillow, and from thence to Pitts- 
burg Landing, which it reached soon after the great battle at 
that point. It then took part in the siege of Corinth, and was 
foremost in pursuit of the flying rebels to Booneville. The 
regiment lay at Big Springs during June and July, and from 
the 13th of July till the 28th of August it was at Tuscumbia, 
Ala., and was then sent via Florence and Columbia to Nash- 
ville, losing, on the way, five men killed. This place it guard- 
ed from September 12th till relieved by the army of General 
Rosecrans. During this time, it was fighting almost constant- 
ly, for a part of the time being on one-half rations, then one. 
fourth, and finally almost without rations at all. On Novem- 
ber 15th it lost, in a repulse of the enemy, two men killed. 
Yet the boys found time to build Port Negley. Assigned to 
General Mitchell's corps, it remained at Nashville till July, 
1803, and then, under General Thorne, went through the 
campaign in Alabama and Mississippi, reaching Bridgeport 
August 24th. October 1st, in Sequatchie Valley, in connec- 
tion with Mc Cook's cavalry, it drove Wheeler's cavalry from 
the valley. November 24th, it crossed the Tennessee River 
on pontoons, supporting General Sherman's attack on the left 
of Mission Ridge. 


On the 26th it pursued Hardee's retreating column, and 
captured twenty of their rear guard at Chickamauga Station. 
It followed the retreating enemy to Bingold, thence to the 
relief of Burnside, marching in mid-winter without blankets, 
shoes or tents, — thence back to Chattanooga, and went into 
winter-quarters at Bossville, Ga. No sterner trials, no more 
heroic sacrifices, were ever made by any soldiers of any age 
than in this campaign of the 10th Illinois. 

On the 1st of January the regiment, reduced to 394 men, 
re-enlisted as veterans, and started for home on January 11, 

The regiment left Illinois for the field again in February 
commanded by Colonel John Tillson, and, under Sherman, 
joined in the advance on Atlanta, and in Sherman's grand 
march to the sea. 

It reached Beaufort, South Carolina, on January 9th, and 
on the 13 tli started to cross the Salkahatchie, but failed, on 
account of high water and the resistance of the enemy, until, 
on the 3d of February, it effected its purpose in spite of the 
obstinate opposition of the rebel foe. It here lost forty men 
in killed and wounded. The swamp upon the banks of the 
river was a mile wide, and the regiment was in its ice-cold 
water from one to five feet deep from 7 A. M. till dark. Gen. 
Howard, who was present, pronounced this engagement "the 
best thing of the war." 

On the 0th it crossed the South Edisto, throwing a pontoon 
in the face of the enemy, and, after wading a half-mile in the 
darkness of night, attacked the enemy in the flank, and drove 
them from their entrenchments, capturing many prisoners. 

Passing through Columbia and Cheraw to Fayetteville, and 
tearing up railroads on the way, the regiment was there de- 
tached to lay a pontoon over Cape Fear river ; and it drove 
the enemy from the opposite bank, losing six men. Then on 
toward Goldsboro : and when the 14th Corps was attacked at 
Bentonville, it made a forced night march, and took part in 
the battles of the 20th and 21st. On this latter day the reg- 


iment got on the enemy's flank, and captured his headquarters 
materia]. The division successfully withstood the attack of 
Hardee's whole corps, losing sixty men of the 10th and over 
one hundred in the brigade, being one-fourth of the loss of the 
whole army. 

Thence it passed on to Raleigh ; and, after the final collapse 
of the rebellion, by the surrender of Johnson's army, it moved 
to Richmond, Fredericksburg and Washington, participating 
in the grand review. 

On the 4th of June it was moved to Louisville, Ky., and 
was mustered out of service July 4th, 1865, receiving its final 
discharge and pay at Chicago, July 11th. 

The regiment, in its last campaign, was commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Gillespie, and was attached to the 17th 
Army Corps under General F. P. Blair, in the Army of the 
Tennessee, commanded by Major-General 0. 0. Howard. Jt 
is a regiment whose long services, whose great sacrifices and 
whose heroic achievements, merit a more extended history ; 
but the materials are not at hand. The brief record of its 
sufferings and its exploits must ever be a crown of honor to 
all its members, and a source of pride to the County of De 

Men of DeKalb County in the 10th Illinois Inf. 



Daniel R. Ballon, Sandwich, promoted 1st Lieutenant. 
Franklin Munson, Sandwich, promoted 1st Lieutenant. 
Hubert Carwer, Sandwich, mustered out Aug. 28, 186!. 
Edward Hoag, Sandwich, died Feb. 6, 1862. 
Charles Kenrill, Sandwich, mustered out Aug. 28, 1804. 


M. R. VanNostrand, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 
George Woodward, Sandwich, promoted 1st Lieutenant. 
John Culver, Sandwich, mustered out August- 28, 1864. 
Cornelius Haggerty. Sandwich, died August 31, 1862. 


Brucham William, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Baldwin John, Sandwich, discharged March 9, 1862. 

Baldwin Kipps, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Banfield John, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Baker Thornton. Sandwich, discharged May 26, 18G2. 

Corke Thomas, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Canham William, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, L864. 

Colgrove Franklin, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Davis Washington, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Drujar William, Sandwich, died Feb. 25, 1864. 

Estabrook Edwin, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Fuhr Adam, Sandwich, mustered out August 28th, 1864. 

Faxon Samuel, Sandwich, re -enlisted as veteran. 

Godfrey Charles, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Gilbert Franklin, Sandwich, discharged March 12, 1862. 

Hamlin Charles, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Hamlin William H., Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Hinkins Andrew, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Hart Henry, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Hammer Francis, Sandwich, discharged March 11, 1862. 

Ise Henry, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Judd Albert, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Lacey Michael, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Mullin Nathaniel, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Miller James, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Miller George C. Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Miller William, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 

Rose Andrew, Sandwich, mustered out June 15, 186"). 

Sanders Milton, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Snyder Augustus, Sandwich, died March 4, 1864. 

Stall John, Sandwich, mustered out August 28, 1864. 


St ipp Herman, Sandwich, died Nov. G, 18(12. 
Frorget Henry, Sandwich, discharged Nov. 20, 1863. 
Wait Lorenzo, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Whitney Edward, Sandwich, deserted Nov. 27, 18G1. 


Baldwin Kipps. Sandwich, died July 20, 18(54, from wounds. 
Banfield John, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 1865, as Corporal. 
Colgrove Franklin, Sandwich, discharged June 23, 1865, for disability. 
Corke Thomas, Sandwich, transferred to non-commissioned staff. 
Davis Washington, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 18(35, as Corporal. 
Estabrook Edwin, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 18(35, as Corporal. 
Kaxon Samuel, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 18(35, as Sergeant. 
Hammer Francis, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 1865. 
Lacey Michael, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 1865, as Sergeant. 
Miller James, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 1865, as Sergeant. 
Rose Andrew, Sandwich, wounded. 

Stipp Herman, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 1865, as Sergeant. 
Nonslat Eugene, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 1865, as Sergeant. 
YanNostrand Ml R., Sandwich, transferred to non-.ommissioned staff. 
Wait Lorenzo, Sendwich, transferred to non-commissioned staff. 


Coster Nicholas, Sandwich, mustered out Sept. 5, 1864. 

Dobbin David, Sandwich, mustered out Sept. 27, 1864. 

Davis Henry, Sandwich, died May 8, 1862, 

Estabrook Adelbert, Sandwich, mustered out July 4, 1865. 

(Hetty George, Sandwich, mustered out Dec. 28, 18(34. 

Gletty Jacob, Sandwich, died Jan. 29, 1862. 

Hough George A., Sandwich, discharged July 19, 1863. 

Holden William, Sandwich, mustered out Dec. 28, 1864. 

Hoefner Antonio, Sandwich, transferred to Mississippi Marine Brigade. 

Latham Thomas A., Sandwich, mustered out Dec. 28, 1864. 

Morrison Thomas, Sandwich, transferred to Mississippi Marine Brigade. 

Seaton Leonard B., Somonauk, mustered out July 4, 1865. 

Trouslatt Eugene, Sandwich, re-enlisted as veteran. 


Thirteenth Illinois Infantry. 

Thirteenth Illinois Infantry. 

The history of the early part of the war for the Union is a 
record of a persistent effort by the people to procure from 
their government the privilege of placing enough armed men 
in the field to march over all opposition, and a constant resist- 
ance on the part of the government, which desired to carry on 
the civil war with much more civility than the case demanded ; 
to conduct it in a deliberate, cautious way, with as small an 
army and as little material as possible. 

When Fort Sumter had fallen, and that indignant uprising 
of the people had occurred which everywhere followed it, in 
every town and hamlet of loyal Illinois the notes of martial 
preparation were heard, and little bands of men, gathered to- 
gether, began drilling, and clamorously demanded of the gov- 
ernment to be led against the enemy. The President soon 
called for 75,000 troops for three months, feeling warranted 
by the laws as they existed only in calling out troops for that 
length of time. This call was filled ; and still hundreds of 
thousands of men, anxious to do their duty upon the battle- 
field, were left out of the ranks. 

Upon the 4th of May, the President made a new call for 
42,000 more men, to serve three years ; and Illinois was given 
the privilege of furnishing six regiments of them. Then be- 
gan such a scrambling for the privilege of forming a part of 
these regiments as was probably never seen before in any 


country. Places were sought in these regiments with as much 
avidity as civil offices are now struggled for. All manner of 
schemes, combinations and strategems were used to affect the 
minds of the authorities, so as to gain the boon of a place in 
these regiments. 

A convention of claimants for this honor in this congres- 
sional district was held at Geneva, and every one who had any 
influence or acquaintance with any person in authority was 
urged to attend and secure a recognition for these companies. 
The convention accomplished nothing; but soon after, an order 
was procured for the creation of one regiment, the 13th Illi- 
nois, in this 2nd congressional district. Of its ten companies, 
one from Sycamore and one from Sandwich were fortunate 
enough to secure a place and a right to serve their country. 
Most of the companies had been filled up to the number of 
one hundred privates, besides the officers, when an order came 
from the War Department, still bent on diminishing the force, 
to reduce the company to eighty-four privates. 

This was a sore disappointment to those who were excluded. 
In some of the companies the men drew lots to determine who 
should remain ; and in others, by some kind of authority, the 
married men of the company were forced to fall out of the 
ranks and stay at home, the single men only being accorded 
the privilege of remaining. It is also a noteworthy fact that 
many men purchased the right of those who had been fortu- 
nate enough to be accepted, paying from $20 to $50 for the 
privilege of taking their places. 

The Sycamore company had for several weeks been drilling 
daily under charge of Z. B. Mayo, a decrepid old soldier who 
had seen service in the Mexican war ; and many will recollect 
how, being without arms, they daily went through the manual 
in the streets of Sycamore with broomsticks and hoe-handles. 

When the permission was really gained to join the regiment, 
the people of the place, anxious to do something for these men, 
assembled in the Court House, and the ladies busily employed 
themselves and their sewing machines in makinn uniforms. 


The citizens were ignorant of any army regulations of cloth- 
ing ; but gray was thought to be a desirable color ; and the 
boys were equipped in full suits of gray, the gifts of the 
ladies and gentlemen of the place. With a vague idea that 
each company required a banner, a beautiful silk flag was 
prepared and presented to our company by one of the young 
ladies, before an immense crowd gathered to witness the novel 

On the 9th of May, 1861, the 13th regiment was organized 
at Camp Dement, Dixon ; and on the 24th it was mustered 
into the service. It is said to have been the first regiment to 
organize under the President's call for three years men, and 
the first to enter the United States service. 

The regiment remained at Dixon for a few weeks engaged 
in improving its drill and discipline ; and here lost its first 
man, Sergeant Berry, a young gentleman of fine promise, Avho 
was shot by one of the sentinels. 

The regiment was soon after ordered to Caseyville, Illinois, 
and in July moved forward to Rolla, Missouri, an important 
strategic point, the termination of a railroad, and the depot of 
supplies. It was the first regiment to cross the Mississippi 
river, and move into the hostile region of Missouri. 

The regiment did excellent service in suppressing the plun- 
dering bands of guerrillas who infested that region for forty 
miles around. They also served to inspire with courage the 
Union people of the country, who had been cowed by the 
prevalent disloyalty. While they were stationed here, Colonel 
Wyman organized many of the Union citizens of the neighbor- 
hood into cavalry companies, who afterwards, under General 
Curtis, proved themselves the most efficient cavalrymen in the 
southwestern army. While at this point, Captain Z. B. Mayo 
resigned his captaincy, and was succeeded by 1st Lieutenant 
E. F. Dutton. 

Engaged in this duty until October 25th, the regiment was 
then ordered forward to join the army which was forming 
under Fremont at Springfield, in southwestern Missouri. The 


troops were still comparatively unused to long marches ; yet 
they were urged forward with great rapidity, marching, on the 
second day, thirty-four miles, and reaching Springfield, a 
distance of one hundred miles, in four days. Gen. Fremont, 
learning the speed on which it had come to his assistance, 
named it his "Flying Infantry," and, noting its superior dis- 
cipline, assigned it the highest post of honor and danger in 
his army. 

But Fremont was now removed from command, the plan of 
the campaign was changed, and the 13th returned to Holla. 
In the retrograde movement, on the night of November 11th, 
a very sudden death occurred at Camp Plummer, proving that 
the skeleton-king oft comes when least expected — passing from 
the blazing battery to strike his victim in the midst of security 
and peace. 

A young man, Henry Holt, bugler of Major Power's caval- 
ry, attached to the 13th regiment, was complaining of feeling 
rather ill, when the Quartermaster, Captain Henderson, who 
had a passion for aught like fun, proposed to bury the musi- 
cian ; and, in the spirit of merriment, seized a spade, and, 
after measuring the complainer, dug a grave of his exact pro- 

The bugler laughed, as did his companions, at the humor of 
the officer, and soon after went away to discharge some duty 
with which he had been intrusted. 

About nine o'clock the same evening, Holt was sitting, with 
seven or eight of his company, about a camp-fire, within a few 
feet of the grave, when some one pointed to it and remarked, 
in a tone of badinage : 

" Come, Harry, get ready for your funeral ! " 

The youth looked over his shoulder at the gloomy cavity in 
the earth, put his hand to his head, and fell from his stool. 
His companions laughed at the little piece of acting, as they 
supposed it, and were surprised that he did not rise from the 

They went up to him, asking, "Are you asleep, Harry?" 


He made no answer, and yet his eyes were open. 

They shook him in vain. 

His friends grew alarmed. One placed his hand upon 
Harry's heart. It was still : he was dead ! 

He had perished of a stroke of apoplexy, and was buried at 
midnight, in the grave made for him in jest by a merry-heart- 
ed friend. 

And so the droll jest was drowned in the hollow sound of 
the earth falling upon a rude coffin, and solemnly waking the 
stillness of the night-morn amid the solitude of a broad prairie 
of the southwest. 

The regiment remained at Rolla till, on December 12th, it 
moved to Salem, where guerrillas were reported to be infesting 
the country, and, after remaining two weeks, returned to 

Here the cold dreary winter was spent until, on the 6th of 
March, 1862, the regiment was sent to join the army of Gen. 
Curtis, who was threatened by Price's rebels, and who, before 
our regiment could reach him, had fought the famous and 
sanguinary battle of Pea Ridge. It was a terribly severe 
march. Through constant rain and mud, and amid want and 
destitution, it pressed on from twenty to thirty miles a day, 
living upon most scanty rations, and forbidden to forage upon 
the country — as the policy of the higher powers was still to 
please instead of punish the foe. 

On the 14th it passed over the battle-field of Wilson's Creek, 
and on the 17th camped on the battle-ground of Pea Ridge. 
The ground was strown with shot, shell, and other remains of 
the conflict. The odor of the decaying bodies was still ex- 
tremely offensive. In one spot the bodies of seventy hostile 
Indians lay festering in corruption : there was such a bitter 
feeling toward the savages who had scalped and plundered our 
men, that they were refused interment. 

On the 18th the regiment joined Curtis' army, but next day 
moved back again some ten miles, Price being reported within 


twenty miles with 50,000 men. But Price's army was too 
badly shattered by its late terrible conflict to dare to attack us. 
We lay encamped till the 8th of April, and then commenced 
a long, tedious and laborious movement across the country to 
Helena, Arkansas. No one who was engaged upon that ter- 
rible march can ever forget its painful weariness, the cold, the 
hunger, the drenching, chilling rains, the dangers from flooded 
rivers, the perils from hovering guerrillas and armed bands of 
the enemy, the destitution from scanty rations, and, at times, 
from thirst. Terrible sufferings were caused during the latter 
part of the march by this cause. The weather had become 
intensely warm, streams were very rare, the rebel inhabitants 
filled up and destroyed their wells upon our approach, and 
our troops often were without water for a day at a time. 
Men could be seen struggling along in the intense heat, their 
tongues swollen and hanging out of their mouths. Yet guards 
of 1 nited States troops were sent forward every day to guard 
every rebel's house that we passed, and prevent foraging upon 
the inhabitants. The march lasted for more than three 
months; and it was not till the last of July that our army 
reached the Mississippi at Helena, and again was furnished 
with the necessaries of existence from the stores of the United 

We reached the river accompanied by an immense train of 
negroes, the slaves of the rebels, who followed the army loaded 
with such provisions and property as they could secure — a 
most ludicrous procession. 

After some desultory service about Helena, the regiment 
was attached to General Steele's division of Sherman's army, 
then assembling for the movement upon Yicksburg. 

On the 22nd of December the regiment, with an immense 
fleet, moved down the Mississippi, and, on the 26th, under 
convoy of the gunboats, moved up the Yazoo river to the at- 
tack on the city in the east. 

On the morning of the 27th, the whole army was drawn up, 
the 13th, in Steele's division, on the left. Durino- the aftcr- 


noon the rebel pickets were driven in, and the regiment went 
into camp for the night in a furious rain-storm. In the 
morning the regiment was engaged in skirmishing, and during 
the afternoon a dashing charge was made upon a rebel battery 
by the 13th and Kith Illinois, under General Wyman. He 
had placed himself at the head of the 18th, and the regiment 
was moving on the battery, and had arrived at a small bayou, 
silenced the rebel guns upon the opposite side, and lay down 
and began firing on the sharpshooters who swarmed in the 
woods. As General Wyman rose up to move among his men, 
lie was struck by a rebel bullet in the right breast and mor- 
tally wounded. The fall of the General was a terrible shock 
to the regiment. Several officers rushed to his assistance, but 
lie cried, "For God's sake leave me and attend to the men.'' 
The regiment remained there some time, and were subsequent- 
ly moved to another part of the field. At this time Porter 
1). AVest and Isaiah Babcock of Company F were severely 

On that night the men lay on their arms in line of battle, 
destitute of blankets, although the Aveather was freezing. 

< >n the 29th occurred the grand desperate charge upon the 
rebel works on Chickasaw Bayou, in which the regiment lost 
one-third of its number. 

About nine o'clock a line was formed for an assault upon 
the batteries. They stood on eminences, in horse-shoe form; 
and, in the terrible abyss into which. shot and shell from three 
sides were pouring, the regiment was formed for a charge. 
There were three brigades : and the 13th was in the brigade 
under command of General Frank 1'. Blair. Most of this 
brigade was composed of new troops : so that the veterans of 
the 18th were required to lead the charge. 

Into all this terrible storm of shot and shell the 13th march- 
ed without faltering. They captured two lines of rebel rifle- 
pits; and when they reached the third line, very few remained 
of this brigade but a scattered remnant of the 18th. 

They were now within thirty rods of the fortifications. Of 


the 600 men who started, 177 were either killed, wounded or 
captured. < )f 63 men of Company F, 22 were killed, wounded 
and missing. Captain R. A. Smith, who had gallantly led his 
company to the third rifle-pit, lost his arm while in the ad- 
vance, hut bound it up and continued with the troops until 
the charge was over. 

if we could have captured the fortifications, which we had 
now so nearly accomplished, the road to Vicksburg would have 
been open to us, and all the loss of life and property that 
subsequently occurred in the struggle for its capture would 
have been saved. 

Hut the day was full of misfortunes; the divisions moved 
without concert of action. No reinforcements were sent for- 
ward, and, after holding their ground for half an hour, the 
order came to retire; and, as similar misfortunes had occurred 
at other points, the day was lost. 

But the 13th Illinois were the heroes of the day. They 
fought with magnificent bravery, reckless of all danger. ]S T o 
sooner were their lines formed than they fell before the pitiless 
storm of shot and shell, like grass before the scythe of t)ic 
mower; yet they held their position like Spartans, although 
exposed to this terrible fire from batteries against which their 
own fire was harmless. 

The colors of the regiment were left upon the field of battle, 
and afterwards sent as a trophy to Richmond. They lay there 
till the final capture of that city, when they were found bv 
one of the first of the Union troops who entered, and were 
thrown to the breeze — the first Union flag that had been seen 
in that rebel capital since the fall of Sumter. 

The grand attack upon Vicksburg had failed, and the 
country was much depressed. 

Up the Arkansas river was Arkansas Post, a strong fortifi- 
cation to protect that river, and to McClernand was assigned 
the task of capturing it. Steele's division, in which was the 
13th Illinois, was among his troops. After a day of hard 
fighting, Arkansas Tost was forced to surrender to the Union 


arms : and with it five thousand prisoners were taken, and a 
large amount of munitions of war. It was a victory that 
raised the hopes and the spirits of the country, and greatly 
cheered the hearts of the soldiers. 

Upon the fall of Arkansas Post, the regiment accompanied 
( ieneral Steele to Greenville, Miss., where an immense amount 
of stores were captured and destroyed. Passing then under 
the immediate command of General Grant, it marched across 
Milliken's Bend to Grand Gulf, and, making a, detour, took 
part in the capture of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi. 
Orders from the General authorized the 18th to inscrihe upon 
its banners, with Chickasaw Bayou and Arkansas Post, the 
word Jackson, as a token of its participation in that achieve- 
ment of our troops. 

From Jackson the regiment moved upon Yicksburg, and 
engaged in the siege of that place until its final fall on July 
4th, I860, in the trenches, in the deadly assault, in the 
dangers and sufferings of that long siege, the 13th bore its 
full share; and Vicksburg was also inscribed upon its banners 
and its list of triumphs. 

It was the grandest triumph yet vouchsafed to the Union 
cause : for it bisected the Confederacy and restored to us the 
control of the Mississippi, the great Father of Waters. 

Two days after the surrender, the 1 -3th were again moving 
upon Jackson, which had been re-occupied by the enemy ; 
and, upon the 10th of July, that city was again in possession 
of our boys, and Jackson, July 10th, was added on our ban- 
ner to the list of our victories. 

For a few weeks the regiment was rested, encamped upon 
Black river, in the rear of Vicksburg. There George Carr 
and Samuel Bryant were captured by the enemy, and for 
many long months endured the horrors of captivity in rebel 

Then under the great Sherman, it moved on Chattanooga. 
Arriving at Bridgeport, on the Tennessee river, Col. Gorgas 
turned over the command to Lieutenant-Colonel Partridge, 


and departed on recruiting service, appearing no more with 
the regiment until after its active campaigns had ceased. 

The regiment now engaged in the active operations for the 
capture of Chattanooga. They acted as rear guard for the 
15th Army Corps on its march from Corinth to Tuscumbia, 
and for one week were every day engaged in severe skirmishes 
with the enemy, who was striving to cut off its wagon-train. 
Upon the capture of Tuscumbia, the name of that place was 
ordered to be placed upon its banner. 

In Lookout Valley the regiment was placed in the command 
of Fighting Joe Hooker, and participated in the memorable 
capture of Lookout Mountain, and, on the 25th, in the still 
greater victory of Mission Ridge, where the 13th captured 
more prisoners of the 18th Alabama regiment than it had men 
of its own, and carried off in triumph from the field the battle 
tlag of that regiment. 

Here the rebel foe was defeated and routed, flying in de- 
spair across the Chickamauga, and burning the bridge in its 
rear. The 13th was among the troops sent in pursuit of them. 
Cleburne, who, among the rebels, was called the Stonewall 
.Jackson of the west, was in command of the rear of Bragg's 
flying host, and, at Ringold Gap, determined to make a stand 
and resist his pursuers. 

The 13th, upon that bloody day, was the first to engage the 
enemy and the last to leave the field. It was sent forward 
over an open plain to seize an important position. Of their 
service on this occasion, General Osterhaus officially says : 
" The 13th Illinois executed the order in magnificent style. 
They charged through a hail-storm of balls, and gained the 
position assigned to them — held it, although the enemy pour- 
ed a murderous fire into their brave men, both from the gorge 
above and the hill upon the right." 

The rebels rallied and made a desperate charge upon its 
position, but the charge was repelled with heroic courage. 
General Hooker says : "The position was heroically taken 
and held by that brave regiment, it all the time maintaining 


its position with resolution and obstinacy. It has never been 
ray fortune to serve with more zealous and devoted soldiers." 
No small praise, this, from the most famous fighting general 
of the war. 

Many instances of individual heroism upon this occasion 
might be related. Patrick Riley, the color-bearer, while car- 
vying the flag across the open plain, was struck in the breast, 
and fell to the ground, the flag bespattered with his blood; 
but he still held it firm and erect, until his successor was 
obliged to wrench it from his dying grasp and pass on. The 
regiment gained undying fame by its valor at this fight; but 
it was at a fearful cost, it lost, in dead and wounded, one- 
one-seventh of the entire loss of the desperate battle ; but the 
victory was won, and Cleburne driven from his position. 

Among its dead was Major J). R. Bushnell, and of its 
wounded were Colonel Partridge, Captain Walter Blanchard, 
and Captain James M. Beardsley. Major Rushnell Avas a 
citizen of Sterling — one of the noblest and manliest of all our 
citizen soldiers. His loss was sadly deplored. Captain 
Blanchard, who subsequently died of his wounds, was an aged 
man, a, judge of Du Page County Court, and President of the 
Naperville Bank ; had two sons in the army, but endured all 
the hardships of the service with a heroism that nothing could 

On the 17th of April, when the time of the regiment would 
have expired in a week, it was posted at Madison Station in 
Alabama. The rebel Roddy's command, outnumbering it five 
to one, came upon it disguised in the blue uniforms of our 
own army, and completely surprised and surrounded it. The 
regiment at this time had only 350 men fit for duty. The 
rebels had three pieces of artillery and 1500 cavalry and in- 
fantry. After two hours hard fighting against these odds, the 
regiment was obliged to abandon the station, fighting its way 
through its foes, losing; sixtv-six men prisoners in their hands. 
The enemy's loss, as reported by Hag of truce, was sixty kill- 
ed, wounded and missing. 


[n the summer of 1864, worn down with the hazards and 
hardships of three years of very active service, having travel- 
ed through seven Southern States, marched more than three 
thousand miles, fought twenty pitched battles and innumerable 
skirmishes, the scarred and war-worn veterans of the 13th 
Illinois came back to their homes, and were received with a 
welcome such as their heroism deserved. 

A large number of the regiment re-enlisted, and were con- 
solidated with the 56th Illinois Infantry, being there known 
:l s Company I: ami for another year they fought the rebel- 
lion till its close. 

( )f the remainder of the reghr.ent, full one-half subsequently 
re-enlisted in other regiments, and again took the field. The 
regiment entered the service with 1010 men. It received ■'>■'> 
recr u jts, but, when mustered out, its whole force was 500. It 
had lost from the various casualties of Avar 565 men. 

Men of DeKalb County in the 13th Illinois Inf. 



E. W. Duvey, Sandwich, deserted Jan. 1, 1863. 

B. W. Clifford, Piano, promoted 2d Lieutenant. 

Zenas S. Harrison, .Sandwich, discharged Nov. 3, 1861, for disability. 

William Wallace, Sandwich, promoted 2d Lieutenant. 


James M. Dobbin, Freeland, died Jan. 12, 18(58, of wounds. 

William I'j. Underwood, Sandwich, mustered o"l Jan 8, 1865, as Sergeant. 


R. T. Bowers. Somouauk, mustered out June 18, 1864. 
S. W. West. Somonauk, mustered out June 18, 1864. 


Ankle Henry, Somonauk, mustered out. June 18, 1864. 

Bish Lewis, Squaw Grove, mustered out June is, ]Ni). as Corporal. 

Bashew Joseph M., Sandwich, died Jan. 21, 1863, of wounds' 

Brookins James, Squaw drove, mustered out June 18, 2864. 

Brainard Jacob, Squaw Grove, mustered out June IS. 1864. 

Doolittle Marcus B., Sandwich, died March 7, 186 '. 

Fitch Albert C, Somonauk, mustered out June IS. 1864. 

Ilermis Lewis, Sandwich, prisoner, mustered out June 1'), 1865. 

Joles William, Sandwich, mustered out June IS, 1864. 

Judge Michael, Somonauk, mustered out June Is, 1864. 

Kelly James, Somonauk, mustered out June 18. 1864. 

Kouth Michael, Somouauk. deserted July 4. 1861. 

Liter Nicholas, Squaw Grove, mustered out June IS. 1864. 

Miller .Nicholas, Squaw Grove, m. o. June 18, '64. Corporal; was a prisoner. 

Muiliu Andrew, Sandwich, killed at Chickasaw Bayou. Dec. 2H, 1862. 

Mattison Joseph D., Sandwich, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Nicholas Thomas, Somonauk, died August 16, 1868. 

Orr Alfred B., Somouauk, discharged Sept. 8, 1863, for disability. 

Batch William B., Clinton, deserted March 10, 1862. 

Potter Thomas B., Somonauk, killed at Chickasaw Bayou, Dec. 29, 1862. 

Palmer Camillas L., Squaw Grove, died June 16, 1863. 

Bierce Benjamin. DeKalb, died Jan. 7, 1862. 

Stewart Daniel, Sandwich, mustered out June IS, 1864. 

VanVelzer Lucien L., DeKalb, deserted April 24. 1862. 

Wilcox Otis, Sandwich, deserted July 4, 1861. 


Alger William H., Somonauk, transferred to Company I, 56th Illinois Inf. 
Mullin John, Sandwich, prisoner, mustered out May 30, 1865, as Corporal. 
Trapp Frederick, Somonauk, died March 7, 1863. 



Iliifa^o tiilu>grai>hin$ CYUlitaMo 



John S. Harroun, Sycamore, absent; not mustered in. 
Azro A. I'.nclv, Sycamore, promoted Captain. 
Lorenzo II. Whitney, Sycamore, discharged Sept. 10, 1861. 
Enos Churchill, Cortland, mustered out June 18, 1854. 
Porter D. Hall, Cortland, absent wounded since Nov. 1863. 


Byron F. Wyman, Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864, as 1st Sergeant. 

Ransom F. Burleigh, Sycamore, mustered out June 1*, 1864, as Sergeant. 

William S. Smith, Sycamore, died September 19, 1804. 

Edward W. Olney, Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864, ns Sergeant. 

Thomas llogan, Sycamore, died May 25th, 1863, of wounds. 

Wesley D. Russell, Sycamore, died June 2(3, 1 8(j;]. 


Allen William, Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Atwood Moiris, Sycamore, discharged Sept. 9, 1863, for disability. 

Bryant Samuel T., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1861. 

Babcock Isaiah, Sycamore, mustered out June 1864. 

Bradley Daniel, Sycamore, prisoner, mustered out May 8, 1865. 

Durkee Cyrus C, mustered out June 18, 18(14. 

Burgess Lewis, Cortland, discharged Jan. 1, 1862. 

Burton Anthony, Sycamore, mustered out June IS, 1864. 

Barnes Daniel A. A. B., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Coogle John, Sycamore, deserted August 18, 1861. 

Carr George, Sycamore, prisoner, mustered out June 0, 1865. 

Courtwright Cyreuus S., Cortland, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Clew son Leonard S., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Culver Harlan, Cortland, discharged Jan. 1, 1862. 

Campbell George, Sycamore, prisoner, mustered out June, 1865. 

Caswell Charles H., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Crosby Charles R., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Clarke John, Cortland, discharged Dec. 10, 1861. 

Depue Nicholas, Sycamore, mastered out June 18, 18(14, as Corporal. 

Deily Jacob S., Sycamore, wounded since Dec. 29, 1862. 

Dolan Thomas, Sycamore, discharged July 1, 1862. 

Fidermont Samuel, Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 18(1). 

Garidy Wayne, Cortland, discharged May 4, 1863, for disability. 

Greene Andrew J., Sycamore, died Oct. 2, 1862. 

llartman Philo D., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 18111. 

Harrison Charles, Sycamore, mustered out July 25, 1864. 

Houghton Alonzo, Sycamore, mustered out July 25, 1864. 

Hevenor Reuben M., Malta, mustered out June 18, 180 i. 

Hill John, Malta, deserted April 28, 1863. 

Goodrich George, Cortland, died Feb. 16, 186:]. 

Kerr William C, Sycamore, died Jan. 5, 1863, of wounds. 

Keppell Isaac, Kingston, died May 17, 1862. 

Loring Theodore, Cortland, promoted Lieutenant. 

Losee Joshua, DeKalb, prisoner, mustered out June 6, 1805. 

Myers Frederick C, Sycamore, veteran, prisoner, mustered out June, 1805. 

McLaughlin Thomas, Sycamore, deserted Feb. 28, 1863. 

Milligan Robert, Sycamore, deserted April 28, 1863. 

Mulligan Albert, Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Xagreen Joseph, Sycamore, absent sick since October 21. 1803. 

Norris Sylvester W., Sycamore, mustered out June 18. 1864. 



Nichols John W., Sycamore, mustered out May 30, 1865, as Sergeant. 

Orr Thomas J., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Orritt John, Malta, discharged November, 1862, for disability. 

Oleson Hans, Cortland, died Nov. 2, 1863, of wounds. 

Peck Charles V., Sycamore, killed at Ringold Nov. 27, 1863. 

Partridge Xelotes 13., Sycamore, discharged May 6, 1863. 

Phelps William A., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Potter Seneca, Sycamore, discharged July 2o, 1862, for disability. 

Kobbins Allied, Sycamore, discharged (Jet 28, 1862. 

Russell Gustavus F., Cortland, mustered out June 18, 1801. 

Kamer Henry, Pierce, mustered out June 18, 1861. 

Siglin Jacob, Sycamore, discharged Sept. 12, 1861. 

Stark W. II., Cortland, died Dec. 15, 1861. 

Smith James M., Sycamore, deserted May 31, 1862. 

Spiking John H., Sycamore, mustered out June, 1864. 

Smith Henry, Pierce, killed at Ringold Nov. 27, 1862. 

Stafford Seymour, Sycamore, transferred to Invalid t'orpi. 

Thompson Julius, DeKalb, mustered out June, 1864. 

Secord Francis, Sycamore, sick since Oct. 1, I860. 

Smith Oliver W., Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

VValdron John. Sycamore, discharged December, 1862, for disability. 

West Asa P., Sycamore, discharged June 6, 186:-!, for wounds. 

Wing Vintner !>., Sycamore, died September, 1862, of wounds. 

Willis Moses B., Sycamore, discharged August 11, 1862. 

Young John, Sycamore, died Jan. 13, 1864, of wounds. 


Harrington Nelson II., Sycamore, Corporal, transferred to 56th Infantry. 
Houghton Alon/.o, Sycamore, transferred to 56th Illinois Infantry. 
Myers Frederick, Sycamore, transferred to 56th Illinois Infantry. 
Orvis ("has. W., Sycamore, tr. to 56th 111., prisoner, mustered out June, '6? 


Adams John. Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1865, as Corporal. 

Burbank Horace ('.. Sycamore, transferred to Invalid Corps Sept. 1868 

Burbank Elbert, Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Berogan John, Pierce. 

Brown George, Cortland, prisoner, mustered out June 6, 186r>. 

Freeman William. Sycamore, deserted Jusy 31, 1861. 

(rould Benjamin P., Cortland, discharged Jan., I860, for disability. 

Warrington Nelson K., Sycamore, re enlisted as veteran. 

Kingsley Albert F., Sycamore, promoted Corporal. 

Lawrence John M., Ccrtlaucl. 

Nichols Stephen, Sycamore, discharged Feb., 1863, for disability. 

Orvis Charles W.. Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Patten David H.. Sycamore, mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Russell Alphonso, Cortland, killed Dec. 29, 1863, at Chickasaw Bayou. 

Sprague Edward F., Sycamore, transferred to 56th Illinois Infantry, 

Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry. 

Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry. 

Recruiting for the 14tli Cavalry was begun, under very 
discouraging circumstances, in the summer of 18(32; but an 
organization was not effected until January 7th, 1863, when 
the first and second battalions were mustered in. This was 
done by the consolidation of the nuclei of three regiments, 
then in camp at Peoria — Colonel Capron's, Colonel Hancock's 
and Colonel Jenkins'. < )n the 6th of February, the third 
battalion was mustered in. The regimental muster-in roster 
was as follows: Colonel, Horace Capron ; Lieutenant-Colonel, 
David P. Jenkins ; 1st [Major, Francis M. Davidson ; 2nd 
Major, David Quigg; 3rd Major, llowland Tompkins; Adju- 
tant, Henry W. Carpenter; Quartermaster, Samuel F. True: 
Commissary, Bruce C. Payne; Surgeon, Preston II. Bail- 
hache ; 1st Assistant Surgeon, George A.Wilson; 2nd As- 
sistant Surgeon, John Ivory Wilkins ; Chaplain, Samuel Chase. 

During the months of February and March, 1863, the reg- 
iment received its horses and equipments, and was thoroughly 
drilled in cavalry tactics. On the 28th of the latter month, 
it broke camp and started for Kentucky, reaching Glasgow, 
in the southern portion of that State, at noon on the 17th of 
April. Two hours later it started upon the march for the 
Cumberland River, traveling day and night. It reached Ce- 
lina the next evening, where, on the succeeding day (the 19th,) 


it had a brief skirmish with the enemy, driving them from the 
place, and afterward burned the town and destroyed one hun- 
dred thousand dollars' worth of army stores. It then return- 
ed to Camp Boyle, at Glasgow, where it remained some months. 
Here it received four six-pounder mountain howitzers. 

While stationed here, it was engaged in scouting through 
the country. In June it pursued the rebel Colonel Hamilton 
to the river, effected a crossing, and surrounded his camp. 
capturing a number of prisoners, their train, two cannon, six 
hundred stand of arms, and all the rebel commander's papers 
The doughty Colonel escaped, amid a perfect shower of bullets, 
by putting spurs to his blooded iron-gray horse. 

Nothing more of particular note occurred until the famous 
raid of Morgan across the Ohio River. The 14th, under the 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins, was engaged in the 
pursuit and capture of the bold rider and his crew. It then 
returned to Glasgow, having traveled during this expedition 
over 2,100 miles. 

On the 18th of August, it started for East Tennessee, 
reaching Burnside's army, at Montgomery, on the 30th, leav- 
ing him the next day at Emery river, and hastening on to 
Knoxville, which place it reached on the 1st of September, 
capturing the rear guard of the enemy, and a considerable 
amount of stores. 

The regiment was the first to enter this city, the only con- 
siderable town in the south then devoted to the Union ; and 
it was received with cheers, waving handkerchiefs, ringing of 
bells, refreshments of fruit, etc., from the ladies, a genera] 
display of the Union flag, and every other demonstration of 
joy. Captain Burpee was here made Quartermaster of the 

The regiment was present at the surrender of Cumberland 
Gap, September 0th, and was then sent across the Clinch 
mountains, and placed at guarding railroads, having about one 
hundred and fifty miles of track in charge. While here, it 
was frequently engaged in skirmishing with the enemy, and 


often suffered lor food. On the 18th it pursued the routed 
forces of the rebel Colonel Carter for nearly ten miles toward 
Bristol, capturing and killing many, taking their train and a 
large quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage. On 
the following day it drove them from Blountville through 
Bristol, into Virginia, destroying at Bristol a large depot of 
army supplies. 

On the 20th it again engaged the enemy at Zollicofter. 
Zollicoffer was situated upon a high eminence, and it was of 
especial value to tin- rebels, on account of its salt works, that 
supplied the Confederacy with that, necessary article, for the 
want of which they suffered severely. 

There was a sharp resistance at this point, and we lost two 
men killed ; hut during most of our encounters, the rebel cav- 
alry fled at our first onset. Our mountain howitzers, moved 
by two horses, and loaded as we moved along, could be wheel- 
ed in an instant and discharged into their ranks, before they 
could get their heavier pieces in position. 

On the 22nd, it met the enemy at Blountville, and, after 
four hours' hard lighting, drove them back. On the 11th of 
October, it had another severe engagement with the enemy, 
gaining great credit for boldness and skill. At Blountville, 
on the 14th, it fought them for live hours, driving them toward 

After this it returned to the vicinity of Knoxville, from 
whence it was ordered to Loudon, \ a., a force of rebels being 
reported to he concentrating at that point. It was a very 
severe march, the mud being very deep and the weather cold 
and stormy. It is worthy of remark that, from the time the 
regiment first entered on active service until mustered out, it 
had no shelter, in summer or winter, other than the scanty 
dog-tents — a narrow covering about four feet wide by seven 
long, open at the sides and ends. 

The siege of Knoxville by the rebels changed the plans of 
our commanders : and the 11th was employed in harassing 
the besieging forces. 


On the 19th of December, the brigade was attacked by an 
overwhelming force of rebels, and compelled to retreat; but 
the latter operation was conducted a la Sigel — whipping the 
enemy while itself in retreat. The losses of tin's affair were 
very severe on both sides. 

After the raising of the siege of Knoxville, the 1 1th was 
engaged in the pursuit of Longstreet's forces up the Richland 

On the 1 -ith of December, our forces were attacked at 
Beans Station by Longstreet's corps. Although the odds 
against them wore well-nigh overwhelming, our hoys main- 
tained their position with great boldness and success. The 
enemy were repulsed with a loss of eight hundred men. On 
the following day, the fight was renewed seven miles below 
Bean Station, with a similar result. 

Dec. 24th the 14th moved across Holston river, and was 
incorporated with General bturgis' cavalry corps, and was 
thereafter engaged in campaigning against Longstreet, who 
was attempting to re-invest Knoxville. 

Tn January, 1864, the brigade of which the 1 1th had long 
formed a, part' was broken up, and the regiment was for a time 
engaged in guarding railroads. Before the month was ended 
i't was re-united, and joined in driving the enemy to Dandridge, 
where a severe battle was fought. I nitnediatel v afterward, 
with General Sturgis' corps, it crossed a spur of the mountains, 
and camped at Tuckaleehee Cove, January 30th. 

The 14th was now chosen for an expedition into North 
Carolina, to punish a noted hand of robbers, known as 
"Thomas' Legion," composed of one hundred whites and two 
hundred Cherokee Indians. The expedition was begun on 
the 31s1 of January, and, on the I'd of February, after march 
ing day and night through the most- rugged and tnountainou • 
region in the country — a region that is justly characterized as 
the Switzerland of America — the regiment came upon the 
object of its search, whom it completely routed, killing sixty 
and capturing fifty-six of the band. The 14th lost four killed 


and five wounded. One of the latter — the lamented Lieuten- 
ant Horace Capron, son of Colonel Capron — died a few days 

On the 5th, the regiment reached the valley at the foot of 
the Smoky Hill range in Tennessee. 

A few reconnoissances, with a great deal of hard marching, 
filled the time till March 18th, when the regrment was found 
at Madisonville. This point was made headquarters, Avhile 
the regiment was broken up into detachments, and employed 
in guarding fords and mountain passes. While thus engaged, 
a band of Thomas' Legion, consisting of about one hundred 
and fifty Indians, planned the capture and slaughter of the 
detached companies. 

Their first attempt was made upon Company E, at Cittico, 
May 27th. Our boys were warned of the expected attack by 
a friendly negro ; and, leaving camp-fires lighted, and lights 
in their tents, as if all unconscious of danger, they concealed 
themselves near by, and saw the rebels rush into the camp 
and prepare to slaughter our men. They heartily enjoyed 
the surprise and discomfiture of the rebs when they found the 
occupants all gone. They had planned to attack their enemy 
at this time, and capture them ; but they were found to be so 
numerous that it was thought best to retire a few miles, to 
gain the help of another company, when, joining forces, they 
advanced on the rebels and drove them back into the moun- 

Jn June the 14th was ordered to join Sherman, and on the 
13th began its march, camping near Lost Mountain on the 
29th. The next day it joined General Stoneman's cavalry 
corps, and remained with it through the Georgia campaign, or 
until his capture. 

It participated in the famous movement on Atlanta; and, 
to insure the speedy capture of the city, it was sent under 
Stoneman, with six other regiments of cavalry, to cut the rail- 
road farther in the rear ; but he failed in his attempt, and 
when our boys reached Macon, after three days and nights 


hard riding, they were astounded by the sight of an immense 
infantry force in their front, while a large body of rebel cav- 
alry swung around in their rear, to cut off all escape. General 
Stoneman now tried to return; but, after a terrible fight at 
Sunshine Church, he gave up the attempt, and surrendered 
his forces to the enemy. 

Colonels Capron and Adams, however, thinking the surren- 
der unnecessary, determined to cut their way through. This, 
after a hard fight, they succeeded in accomplishing. They 
broke through the rebel lines at several points, and subse- 
quently united in the rear. 

A dispute now arose between the two Colonels about sen- 
iority of rank and the proper course to pursue ; and, after 
another day's marching, at the banks of a creek that ran at 
the base of Hogback mountain, the two regiments parted. 
Colonel Adams at once crossed the stream, and subsequently 
reached the Union lines in safety. Colonel Capron's men had 
now been in the saddle for seven days and nights. Their 
horses were fresh, as they had all been exchanged for horses 
captured in the vicinity. Captain Burpee's men at one time 
brought in one hundred fresh horses, and mounted his me 11 
upon them, turning out his exhausted animals. 

But the men who had had no sleep, except what they took 
while riding, were completely exhausted, and could be kept on 
their horses no longer. Supposing himself safe, he ordered a 
halt at one o'clock on the morning of August 3d, and suffered 
his men to lie down. But, unknown to them, a regiment of 
rebel cavalry were near that place, engaged in guarding the 
road. Some farmers in the vicinity gave them notice that 
some Union troops were there asleep ; and about daylight, 
while our boys were in the deep slumber induced by their 
excessive labors, the rebel cavalry dashed in upon them, 
butchering a large number of them before they could be 
awakened. Not one man could mount his horse or secure his 
arms. Those who escaped fled on foot to the woods, and for 
several days, while entirely unarmed, were pursued and 


slaughtered by rebel citizens, guerrillas, soldiers and blood- 
hounds. Not one-half of the regiment ever reached the Union 
lines. The recital of their dangers, their sufferings, their 
hair-breadth escapes, would fill a volume. 

During the raid upon Macon, the first battalion of the 14th, 
under Major Davidson, left the main command July 29th, and 
"marched over one hundred and sixty miles in less than three 
days and nights, destroying four depots, forty engines, five 
hundred freight and passenger cars, many 'miles of railroad, 
thousands of cords of wood, public buildings and large stores 
of military property, with a number of important bridges, in- 
cluding the great Oconee bridge. On several occasions it 
passed near large bodies of the enemy — once attacking, rout- 
ing and chasing for miles the rear guard of a large force that 
was marching to guard the Oconee bridge, which our troops 
had just destroyed ; and once they passed between Milledge- 
ville and the rebel picket, not more than a half mile from the 
city, and finally joined the main command August 1st, in time 
to share the great disaster of the 3d. For this exploit the 
Major was recommended for promotion by General Stoneman." 

After the scattered fragments of the brigade of which the 
14th was a part were re-united, being dismounted and unarm- 
ed, they were furnished with muskets, and sent to the Chatta- 
hoochee river. On the loth of September, the brigade was 
S3nt to Kentucky to be remounted, which was effected at 
Louisville October Kith, still retaining its muskets. It was 
then sent to Pulaski, Tennessee, arriving November 3d, and 
on the 18th marched to Waynesboro, to oppose Forrest. 

For three days the ground was contested against over- 
whelming odds, our troops slowly retiring, «and fighting a se- 
vere battle below Mount Pleasant on the 23d. The 4th Corps, 
under Schofield, was filling back, the cavalry brigade guard- 
in<* the rear, and holding Forrest in check. On the 24th the 
rebels succeeded in flanking the cavalry, who were driven in 
disorder ; but the 4th Corps came up on the double-quick, and 
repulsed the enemy. 


November 29th, the cavalry brigade was sent up the north 
bank of the Duck river, to prevent Forrest's crossing. Here 
it again narrowly escaped capture, being at one time entirely 
surrounded by three rebel divisions. Colonel Capron with a 
few companies cut his way out. This movement was followed 
by a similar one by the 14 th regiment, under the lead of 
Captains Jenkins and Connelly, who thus saved the brigade. 
The brigade then joined the cavalry corps, and aided in check- 
ing the advance of the rebels. During the battle of Franklin, 
it was on the left wing, in sight of the town. 

Arriving at Nashville, the 14th turned over its remaining 
horses to other regiments, and in the battle at that place 
served on foot, performing important service. It then joined 
in the pursuit of Bragg's retreating forces, returning to Nash- 
ville, where it remained till April 1st, 1805, when it was or- 
dered to Pulaski. Here it remained till July 31st, when it 
was mustered out of the service. 

While the regiment was at Nashville, Colonel Capron and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins resigned, and Major Davidson 
was promoted to the Colonelcy, Major Quigg being appointed 
Lieutenant-Colonel. Captains Dent, Connelly, Jenkins and 
Sanford received Majors' commissions. 

The aggregate of all the marches by the regiment in force 
was 10,000 miles. This is exclusive of marches by detach- 

Forty-Second Illinois Infantry. 

Forty-Second Illinois Infantry. 


For several months before the great war of the rebellion 
had commenced, an independent company of artillery had 
been organized at the village of DeKalb, under the command 
of Captain J. D. Butts. It was really intended more for or- 
namental duties than for the stern service of actual warfare. 
Its services had been confined to the management of a field- 
piece used for salutes upon the anniversaries of the country's 
birthdays and like joyful occasions. 

But upon the first day after the thrilling news of the cap- 
ture of Fort Sumter had echoed over the land, rousing all the 
warlike spirit of the peaceful north, and summoning it to resist 
the traitors and revenge the insult to the flag, Captain Butts, 
after consulting with the members of his company, promptly 
telegraphed a message to the Governor of the State, offering 
its services to aid in the work of conquering the rebellion. 

When in a few days, the first call of the President for 75,000 
troops was sent out, and Illinois was granted the privilege of 
furnishing 6,000 of the number, Captain Butts was answered 
that the services of this company, now full in numbers, were 
accepted; that they should perfect themselves in drill, and 
await further orders. 

But the further orders did not come. Other companies 
poured into the rendezvous without waiting for orders, and 
were accepted : the DeKalb company, in spite of all their 
efforts, were at last excluded. 


Foreseeing that their services would yet be required, they 
retained their organization, and calmly awaited their time. 
That time came at length ; and the 1st day of August, 1861, 
saw the boys of DeKalb in camp for instruction at Chicago — 
a component part of the 42d Regiment of Illinois Infantry, 
and ranking as Company K. 

The Colonel was William A. Webb ; Lieutenant-Colonel, 
David Stuart ; Major, George W. Roberts. Its company 
officers were : Jesse D. Butts, Captain ; Joseph W. Foster, 
1st Lieutenant ; Gilbert L. Barnes, 2d Lieutenant. 

On the 17th of September, the regiment, numbering 1051 
men, was mustered into service, and, immediately thereafter, 
left for St. Louis, and there remained in a camp of instruction 
for seventeen days, when it received orders to proceed to Tip- 
ton, Missouri, to join General Fremont in his great expedition 
against the rebel General Price. 

The emergencies of the situation seemed to call for the 
greatest possible haste ; and the regiment was forced through 
at a rate of speed that almost destroyed it. They were nearly 
destitute of wagons for the transportation of supplies, without 
baggage, except what they carried on their backs, no rations, 
except a small supply of hard-tack and a few cattle driven 
along and killed each night, and often eaten raw by the fam- 
ished and exhausted soldiers ; yet they marched from twenty- 
five to forty miles each day, for about ten days, and reached 
Springfield on the 4th of November, stacking their arms, then 
one hundred muskets, the remainder of the regiment having 
fallen out exhausted. 

These simple words : " they marched from twenty-five to 
forty miles per day," look common-place enough upon paper ; 
but they convey no adequate idea of the toil, the suffering, 
the exhaustion which such a march requires. Any person 
who chooses may determine by personal experience that to 
walk two and a half miles an hour is rapid movement : four 
miles an hour is a run. To move at such a rate for ten hours 
a day, loaded down with muskets, accoutrements and rations, 
is more fatal to an army than the severest battles. 


The men may start out in the morning fresh and strong ; 
they go for weary miles with the rapid step required. Soon 
the weaker ones begin to slacken their pace, and straggle in 
the rear. The rules require imperatively that there shall be 
no straggling ; and the officers now run back and urge them 
on. Stimulated by threats, importunities, and sometimes by 
blows, they struggle on a while longer ; but soon exhausted 
nature can hold out no longer : they fall in the rear and sit 
down exhausted, the picture of despair. The regiment moves 
on ; and, before night, a small company only reaches its camp- 
ing-ground, and, utterly exhausted, sink to the earth for a 
moment's repose. Then they proceed to prepare something 
to satisfy the cravings of hunger ; and very slight indeed are 
these preparations. The food is devoured almost raw ; and 
they then sleep as only those can whose power of endurance 
had reached its limit. The stragglers now begin to come in ; 
and, before dawn, perhaps half of them have reached their 
companies, when the unwelcome drum-beat of the reveille 
rouses them again to the march, and they commence again the 
weary onward movement. 

Many fields of sorghum had been planted upon this route ; 
and the men sustained nature by the stimulating pieces of its 
stalks which they chewed as they moved along. Two hundred 
men of this regiment were permanently disabled by this terri- 
ble march, and multitudes more acquired chronic diseases 
from which they never fully recovered. 

Lieutenant Gilbert L. Barnes and nine privates of Company 
K died on the march. 

The sufferings of the regiment upon this march were not 
recompensed by the consideration that they had proved of 
much value to the cause. Arrived at Springfield, Fremont 
was superceded by General Hunter, the plan of the campaign 
was changed, Price retired to his mountain fastnesses, at a 
short distance ; and when the regiment had remained a few 
weeks encamped at Springfield, it marched back again to Tip- 
ton, Price's army following ours back to Springfield, and then 


> fjr 


or CLIN TO N" . 


to Osceola, where it wintered within thirty miles of our own. 

The regiment went into winter-quarters at Smithton, an 
outpost of Otterville, where was located the headquarters of 
General Pope's army. Our company, on the 15th of De- 
cember, occupied for winter quarters an old and roomy ware- 
house, colder than any ordinary barn ; and amid more than 
the usual discomforts of army life in winter, it passed the time 
in guard duty. 

On the 3d of February, 1862, we moved to St. Charles, 
Missouri, north of St. Louis — a very exhausting march of 
seven days— where we took steamers, and, on the 20th, arrived 
at Fort Holt in Kentucky, whence Ave moved by steamers to 
Columbus, Kentucky. 

On the 4th of March it occupied Columbus, Ky, and on the 
loth moved down to Island Number Ten — a march of forty- 
five miles, during which we were constantly in conflict with 
the enemy. In the reduction and capture of that important 
post the 42d bore no unimportant part. 

On the night of April 1st, Colonel Roberts, its commander, 
with fifty men of the regiment, spiked a battery of six guns 
of the rebels that had hitherto done a good deal of injury to 
our troops. 

On the 11th of April this formidable fortress surrendered 
to the Union arms, and on the 14th our regiment, under Gen- 
eral Pope, moved to Fort Pillow and thence to Shiloh, arriving 
too late for the great battle. 

The regiment was engaged in the famous siege of Corinth, 
and shared the glory of the capture of that important point ; 
and it led the advance of the Union forces in pursuit of Beau- 
regard's flying host, as far as Booneville, Miss. 

inuring this siege Captain Butts, who had been in charge 
of the Surgeon since the 1st of March, was forced to resign 
his command, and Robert Raney, a Lieutenant of Company 
D, was chosen Captain in his stead. 

In the battle of Farmington, on the 9th of May, the regi- 
ment lost two men killed, twelve wounded and three missing. 


The 42d occupied Courtland, Alabama, from July 25th to 
September 3d, 1862, when it left for Nashville, Term., by way 
of Decatur, Alabama. It had a battle at Columbia, Term., 
September 9th, 1862, and lost one man killed. The regiment 
arrived at Nashville September 13th. 

It remained in Nashville during the siege. On December 
10th it marched out six miles on the Nolensville pike. On 
December 26th it engaged in the Murfreesboro campaign. 
It skirmished with the enemy December 30th, and was en- 
gaged in the battle of Stone River, December 31st, with a 
loss of 22 killed, 116 wounded, and 85 prisoners. 

On the 5th of March, 1863, the 42d engaged in the pursuit 
of VanDorn to Columbia, returning to camp at Murfreesboro 
on the 14th. On June 24th it entered upon the Tullahoma 
campaign, camped, July 31st, at Bridgeport, Alabama, and on 
September 2d engaged in the Chattanooga campaign. It then 
marched to Alpine, Georgia, thence to Trenton, and crossed 
Lookout Mountain. It engaged, September 19th and 20th, 
in the battle in the battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, losing 28 
killed, 128 wounded, and 28 prisoners, and retreated to Chat- 

On the 28th of November the regiment was engaged in the 
battle of Mission Ridge, losing five killed and forty wounded, 
the 42d being on the skirmish-line daring the whole engage- 
ment. It pursued the enemy to Chickamauga creek and re- 
turned. It then entered the East Tennessee campaign, and 
on the 27th of December camped at Stone's Mill. 

On the 1st of January, 1864, the regiment re-enlisted as a 
veteran volunteer organization, and on the 15th it moved to 
Dandridge. It started for Chattanooga on the 21st, arriving 
on the 2d of February, whence it moved by rail to Chicago on 
the 21st. On the 2d of March the men received thirty day 
furloughs, and, on their return, arrived at Chattanooga April 

The regiment entered the Atlanta campaign on the 3d of 
May, and was engaged at Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Adairs- 


ville, New Hope Church, Pine Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, 
Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Joncsboro, and Lovejoy Station, 
encamping at Atlanta, September 8th. The total loss on the 
campaign was twenty killed, eighty-nine wounded, and seven 
prisoners. On the 25th it moved to Bridgeport, Alabama, by 
rail, and, October 19th, to Chattanooga, whence they marched 
to Alpine, Georgia. On the 30th of October, it moved by 
rail to Athens, Alabama, and marched thence to Pulaski, 
Tennessee, arriving November 5th. 

It commenced its retreat for Nashville on the 22d, engaging 
with the enemy at Spring Hill and Franklin, and losing twen- 
ty-four killed, ninety-five wounded, and thirty prisoners. It 
was engaged in the battle of Nashville on the 15th and 16th 
of December, losing two killed and eleven wounded, and pur- 
sued the enemy eighty-two miles, camping at Lexington, Ala., 
December 31st, whence it marched to Decatur, Ala., arriving 
January 6th, 1865. 

The 42d remained at Decatur till April 1st, when it pro- 
ceeded by rail to Bull's Gap, Tenn., and thence marched to 
Blue Springs, where it remained two weeks, and then proceed- 
ed by rail to Nashville. 

On the 15th of June it moved by rail to Johnsonville, Tenn., 
and thence by water to New Orleans, and camped at Chal- 
mette, June 23d. On the 18th of July it proceeded to Port 
Lavaca, Texas, whence it went to Camp Irwin, where it re- 
mained a month, and then returned to Lavaca and went on 
post duty. 

The regiment was mustered out on the 16th of December, 
left Indianola on the 20th and New Orleans on the 24th, ar- 
riving at Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois, January 3d, 1866. 
On the 10th it received its final pay and discharge. 

Men of DeKalb County in the 42d Illinois Inf. 



Jesse D. Butts, DeKalb, resigned April 8, 1862. 

Joseph W. Foster, DeKalb, honorably discharged May 15, 1865. 


Joseph W. Foster, DeKalb, promoted. 

James N. McClellan, South Grove, term expired Feb. 20, 1865. 

Jeremiah G. Beard, Somonauk, mustered out as Sergeant Dec. 16, 1865. 


Gilbert S. Barnes, Kingston, died Oct. 24, 1861. 
James N. McClellan, South Grove, promoted. 


James N. McClellan, South Grove, promoted 2d Lieutenant. 
Shuin W. King, DeKalb, killed at Chickamauga, Sept 20, 1863. 
James H. Dupee, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Perry Rowan, Franklin, killed at Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862. 


Moses L. Denies, DeKalb, mustered out September 16, 1864, as private. 

Charles H. Stuart, Kingston, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Robert Lenox, DeKalb, discharged Nov. 15, 1863, for disability. 

John Lundall, DeKalb, trans, to Veteran Reserve Corps, March 15. 1865. 

Lyman H. Needham, DeKalb, died in Andersonville prison, Sept. 1, 1864. 

Orlando M. Benson, killed at Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862. 

Henry B. Gurle. DeKalb, discharged Nov. 14, 1862, lor disability. 

Stephen Olney, Kingston, discharged Feb. 14, 1863, for disability. 


Ethan Allen, Sycamore, discharged March 26, 1862, for disability. 
Ephraim II. Horubeck, Maytield, deserted Nov. 7. 1861. 


Austin Amasa C, DeKalb, discharged Jan 5, 1862. 

Arst Frank, Kingston, died at Chattanooga, March 13, 1863. 

Alba George, Pampas, deserted July 3, 1862. 

Aurner William R., Kingston, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Brainard Anson, Kingston, died at St. Louis Dec. 11, 1861. 

Bates Stephen H., Kingston, discharged May 12, 1862, for disability. 


Barber Daniel, DeKalb, mustered out Sept. 1G, 18G4. 

Benies Aaron B., DeKalb, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Brown James W., DeKalb. mustered out Sept. 18, 1864. 

Brigham Artimus, Somonauk, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Brigham Jeremiah G., Somonauk, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Collier John, Kingston, died at Evansville, Ind., June 11, 1862. 

Oonnaughton Thomas, Kingston, deserted June 11. 1862. 

Oonnaughton Roger, Kingston, deserted June 11, 1862. 

Conner Allanson, Malta, discharged Jan. 19, 1868, for disability. 

Campbell David, Milan, missing alter the battle of Chickamauga. 

Decker William H., Kingston, died at Farmington May 29, 1862. 

Dairs William. Kingston, died at Tipton, Mo , Dec. 4, 1861. 

DeLaTour George W., Milan, transterred to Company B. 

Edmonds John D., Milan, killed at Chickamauga Sept. 20, 1863. 

Edmunds Edward B., Milan, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Fish Mortimer A., Sandwich, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Fish Enos, DeKalb, died at Smithton, Mo., Jan. 11, 1862. 

Fish Chester, DeKalb, transferred to 55th 111. Inf. Sept. 5, 1861. 

Frost George R., Clinton, trans, to Sappers and Miners, August 29, 1861. 

Fowler Jay, DeKalb, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, Feb. 22, 1864. 

Oarlock Wm. E., DeKalb, discharged April 26, 1864, as Sergeant, wounded. 

Green Israel J., Sandwich, trans, to Veteran Reserve Corps, Feb. 10, 1864. 

Gorham Edward, South Grove, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Hanson Peter, South Grove, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Hendrickson Oscar, DeKalb, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Hannegar Nathaniel, DeKalb, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 

Hodges John II., mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Kimball Lorenzo, DeKalb, disch. Nov. 25, 1862. to enlist, in 4th U. S. Cav. 

Kennady Melvin, Squaw Grove, missing after the battle of Chickamauga. 

Lemley Peter, Kingston, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Martin Daniel G., Afton, discharged Jan. 16, 1862. 

McGlin Edward, Afton, deserted June 11, 1862. 

McCann John F., Cortland, mustered out May 12, 1805. 

Miller August, Afton, transferred to Sappers and Miners, August 29, 1861 

Mott William, Sycamore, discharged July 5, 1864, for disability. 

Perry Henry, Sycamore, discharged July 8, 1862, for 1862, for disability. 

Perry AVilliam N., Sycamore, died at St. Louis, Mo., May 23, 1862. 

Perry Hale, Sycamore, died at Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 10, 1862. 

Peterson John, DeKalb, died at Smithton, Mo., Jan. 6, 1862. 

Patterson John W., DeKalb, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Redding John, DeKalb, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Roleson Lewis, Kingston, trans, to Sappers and Miners, August 29, 1861. 

Russell Robert W.. Genoa, discharged Dec. 26, 1862, to enlist in 16th U. S. 

Rogers Richard S., South Grove, trans, to Vet. Reserve Corps, July 15, '64. 

Rostrop J. Peters, DeKalb, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Stroup Julius, DeKalb, disch. Nov. 25, 1862, to enlist in 4th U. S. Cavalry. 

Stephenson Francis, DeKalb, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Snell Benjamin, Maytield, deserted August 23, 1861. 

Sams Henry, Mayfield, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Shannon Gilbert, South Grove, mustered cut Sent. 16, 1864. 

Stout Aaron, DeKalb, discharged Jan. 13, 1862, for disability. 

Tibbetts Aaron G., Kingston, discharged July 12, 1862, for disability. 

Tyler William P.. DeKalb, died at Tipton, Mo., Dec. 31, 1861. 

Taylor Joseph, Mayfield, re-enlisted as veteran. 

V'dburgh Addison, Mayfield, discharged Feb. 11, 1862, for disability. 

VanNess Oscar, Afton, discharged Jan. 26, 1862, to enlist in 16th U. S. A. 

Wolrod Charles, Afton, discharged March 24, 1862, for disability. 


Wright Benjamin, DoKalb, mustered out Sept. 28, 1864. 

Wright George H., DeKalh, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Witteniore Anson W., UeKalb, discharged March 26, 1862, for disability. 

Wilson Charles S., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Wright William, DeKalb, mustered out Sept. 16, 1864. 

Yarwood N. B., Kingston, discharged Dec. 26, 1862, to enlist in 16th U. S. 


Beard Jeremiah G., DeKalb, mustered out Dec. 16, I860, as 1st Sergeant. 
Brigham Art emus, Victor, mustered out Dec. 16, I860, as Sergeant. 
Depue James II., Spcamore, 1st Sergeant, died at home March 22, 1864. 
Edmonds Edmond B., DeKalb, mustered out Dec. 16, I860, as Corporal. 
Nichols Charles, DeKalb, mustered out Dec. 16, 1865, as Corporal, wounded. 
Sams Henry, DeKalb, mustered aut Dec. 16, I860. 
Taylor Joseph, Mayfield, mustered out Dec. 16, 1865, wounded, 
Wright Geo. H., DeKalb, mustered out Dec. 16, 1865, as Sergeant, wounded. 

Fifty-Second Illinois Infantry. 

Fifty-Second Illinois Infantry. 

The 52d Illinois Infantry Regiment was organized at Ge- 
neva, Kane County, Illinois, under the superintendence of 
Colonel I. G. Wilson, and was mustered into the United States 
service as an organization, November 19th, 1861, by Lieuten- 
ant J. Christopher, U. S. A. 

The regiment left Geneva with 945 men, under Colonel I. 
G. Wilson, with orders to proceed to St. Louis, Mo., via Chi- 
cago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, November 28th, 1861. 
They arrived at St. Louis November 29th, and went into 
quarters at Benton Barracks. While at Benton Barracks, 
Colonel Wilson's resignation was tendered and accepted. On 
the 8th day of December, the regiment, under command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel J. S. Wilcox, embarked on the cars for 
St. Joseph, Mo., by way of Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, 
and arrived at St. Joseph December 10th, 1861. 

The several companies of the regiment were stationed along 
the road from St. Joseph to a point four miles east of Came- 
ron, making a distance of thirty-five miles to be kept open by 
our regiment. The regiment was thus employed until Janua- 
ry 16th, 1862, the headquarters being at St. Joseph. The 
duty performed was hard and tedious, owing to the intense 
cold weather and the limited supply of camp and garrison 


On January 16th, 18(32, we left St. Joseph, under command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Wilcox, with orders to proceed to Cairo- 
We went by rail. to Palmyra, Mo., and from there marched to 
Quincy, on the railroad, covered with nine inches of snow, and 
ice underneath. Many of the men came near perishing on 
the way, and undoubtedly would, but for an engine being sent 
back several miles to pick up the stragglers. We left Quincy 
January 10th, and arrived at Cairo on the 20th. On the 24th 
we were ordered to Smithland, Ky., where we arrived on the 
26th, and went into camp. 

On the 7th of February, Colonel T. W. Sweeney of the 
regular army assumed command of the regiment, and on the 
16th, in obedience to orders received, we embarked on boat 
for Fort Donelson, Ky., where we arrived early on the morn- 
ing of the 17th, just in time to be assigned to the unpleasant 
duty of guarding rebel prisoners. 

On the morning of the 18th, the regiment, on several dif- 
ferent boats, loaded with prisoners, started down the river for 
St. Louis, where we arrived on the 20th, and were then order- 
ed to proceed with the prisoners to Springfield and Chicago. 
After delivering the prisoners at the above places, the regiment 
rendezvoused at St. Louis, March 7th. 

On the 13th of March, we left for the army of the Tennes- 
see, via Cairo and Paducah, arrived at Pittsburg Landing, 
March 18th, landed on the 20th and went into camp. The 
regiment was here attached to the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 
Colonel Sweeney commanding the brigade and General Smith 
the Division. 

On the 6th and 7th of April, 1862, the regiment was en- 
gaged in the bloody battle of Pittsburg Landing, or "Shiloh," 
Major Henry Stark commanding until 3| P. M. of the first 
day, when Captain E. A. Bowen assumed command in obedi- 
ence to orders from Colonel Sweeney, commanding brigade. 
The regiment distinguished itself on several occasions during 
this battle, It was in the hottest of the fight during a treat 

part of the first terrible day. While gallantly urging on his 


men, with an utter disregard of his own safety, Captain E. M. 
Knapp of the DeKalb Co. company was shot through the body 
and mortally wounded. Our loss was 170 in killed, wounded 
and missing, outof 500 who went into the fight. 

At the siege of Corinth, the regiment took an active 
part, Colonel Bowen remaining in command from April 7th 
to May 8th, at which time Lieutenant-Colonel Wilcox return- 
ed from the north. About May 8th, we were transferred to 
the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, commanded by Colonel Sweeney. 

During the siege of Corinth, the regiment became very 
much reduced by sickness, wounded, death, kc. ; could carry 
no tents, and were consequently exposed to the heavy rain- 
storms of that season. 

May 30th, after the enemy had evacuated Corinth, the 
division was ordered to Farmington to join General Pope. 
The following day we started in pursuit of the enemy ; pro- 
ceeded to Boonville, twenty-five miles south of Corinth ; re- 
turned to Camp Montgomery, two miles south of Corinth, 
June 13th, 1862 ; went into camp ; remained here until after 
the battle of Corinth, October 3d and 4th, 1862. 

The 2d and 6th divisions, constituting the garrison of Cor- 
inth, August 11th, under command of Major E. A. Bowen, 
proceeded to Pocahontas, Tenn., to disperse Colonel Faulk- 
ner's rebel cavalry, and to seize and bring in all cotton found 
in the country. They found no camp of the enemy, as re- 
ported, but secured fifty-five bales of cotton, and returned to 
Corinth on the 17th of August. The distance marched was 
fifty miles, and, owing to the extreme hot weather and dusty 
roads, it was very fatiguing. 

September 17th, all the forces stationed at Corinth moved 
out to attack the rebel force under General Price, at Iuka, 
Miss. On the night of September 19th, we bivouacked in 
line of battle three miles east of Burnsville. The next morn- 
ing we advanced three miles, formed in line of battle, threw 
out skirmishers, and found that the enemy had left our front ; 
then marched without interruption to Iuka. General Rose- 


crans, advancing on another road, met the enemy before, and 
defeated him, driving the rebels out of Iuka early in the 
morning before our arrival. After a short rest at Iuka, the 
entire command made a forced march back to Burnsville. 
September 21st, fearing that Price might attempt to reach 
Corinth before our return, we made another forced march to 
Corinth, arriving at four o'clock that afternoon. The last 
day's march was very severe on the men : the day was hot, 
and many became utterly exhausted. The total distance 
marched was fifty-six miles. The regiment took an active 
part in the battle of Corinth. 

Early in the morning of October 3d, we left Camp Mont- 
gomery, Colonel Sweeney commanding the regiment; marched 
through Corinth and formed in line of battle one and a half 
miles from the town, where the combined forces of Price, Van 
Dorn, Villipugue and Lovell attacked our forces. During the 
first day's fight, four separate lines of battle were formed : 
the enemy, by dint of superior numbers, forcing us to retire 
until the fourth line was formed in front of Fort Robinett. 
The fighting was most desperate through the day : the heat 
was intense, and many of our men were sun-struck. At one 
time the whole command seemed nearly overpowered by the 
extreme heat of the sun. 

The most desperate engagement of the day took place at 
the third line, in the afternoon, the rebel force being com- 
pletely scattered by the galling fire poured into them. They 
soon threw in fresh troops, however, and forced us from that 

During the engagement at the third line, Adjutant Brainard 
was killed, also General Hackleman, commanding the brigade. 
Colonel Sweeney was then assigned to the command of the 
brigade, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wilcox assumed command of 
the regiment. During the night of the 3d, we changed posi- 
tions several times, thus preventing all possible chance of 
obtaining the rest so much needed. Before daylight of the 
4th, the enemy commenced shelling the town, and having 


obtained the exact range, their shots were effective. In half 
an hour, their guns were silenced by our batteries. At 10 A. 
M., the enemy emerged from the woods in two columns, one 
upon Fort Robinette and the other upon redoubt Richardson, 
where the 52d was posted. Rapidly they came, in splendid 
style, firing as they advanced, and taking advantage of the 
ground to our front and right, succeeded in gaining possession 
of the redoubt, causing the artillery horses with caissons to 
stampede in great confusion. Finding the troops on the right 
ot the redoubt had given away, the 52d was ordered back, 
and soon after, the entire division followed its example. Re- 
tiring some two hundred yards, the 52d rallied while yet ex- 
posed to the fire of the enemy, and immediately began to ad- 
vance, followed by the entire brigade. The ground lost was 
retaken, all the guns recaptured and turned upon the enemy, 
and successfully worked by men of the 52d. The entire 
command bivouacked on the ground that day and night. The 
loss of the regiment during both days' fight, was seventy killed 
and wounded. 

On the morning of October 4th, Ave started in pursuit ' of 
the enemy, proceeding as far as Ruckerville, and returned on 
the 12th. The total distance marched was seventy-five miles. 

On the 13th, the regiment was ordered to the hills of the 
Hatchie river, to pick up tents, &c, abandoned by the enemy 
in their flight. The regiment started, tired and foot-sore, 
having been constantly on duty since the battle of Corinth. 
It returned October 16th, having marched forty miles. 

On December 9th, 1862, the regiment, Major Bowen com- 
manding, started with an expedition into northern Alabama, 
to disperse a force of 2,000 cavalry and mounted infantry 
under Roddy, Our whole force of infantry were in army 
wagons, twelve men to a team. For ten miles after passing 
Big Bear Creek occurred one of the most exciting running 
fights ever witnessed. The enemy were driven from every 
position, until they fell back upon their large reserve force of 
artillery and infantry, stationed on the opposite bank of Little 


Bear Creek. The enemy burned the bridge, and retired from 
our front. Having exhausted our ammunition, and deeming 
further pursuit useless, we returned to Corinth, arriving on 
the 14th of December, having traveled one hundred and twen- 
ty miles in five days, fighting the enemy one day, and driving 
him before us for fifteen miles. 

On the 19th of December, the regiment, under command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Wilcox, left Corinth with an expedition, 
under command of General I. M. Dodge, to intercept the rebel 
General Forrest, supposed to be marching on Jackson, Tenn. 
Of all the marches ever made by the regiment, this was the 
most trying and fatiguing. Over one hundred miles were 
marched in four and a half days, the first forty of which were 
made without sleep and but little rest. Nearly every man in 
the regiment returned to Corinth foot-sore and ragged. The 
expedition served to drive General Forrest northward ; and 
when returning, the Jackson forces intercepted him at Park- 
er's Cross Roads, and defeated him. 

On the 2nd of January, 1863, under command of Major 
Bowen, we started, with an expedition of General Dodge, to 
intercept Forrest in crossing the Tennessee river. Ascertain- 
ing that General Forrest had effected a crossing at Crump's 
Landing, we returned January 3d, having marched twenty- 
four miles, mostly in the rain. 

January 20th, Captain Joseph T. Brown commanding, left 
Corinth with an expedition commanded by Colonel E. W. Rice, 
7th Iowa Volunteers, for Hamburg, Tenn., arriving that even- 
ing. We took quarters on board of transports, the men beino- 
crowded so close as to be unable to lie or sit down, and a cold 
rain falling all night. It was very hard on the men. On 
the 27th we started up the Tennessee river, but soon returned 
on account of the incapacity of the boat to carry so large a 
number of troops. We returned to Corinth on the 28th, hav- 
ing marched thirty-five miles — the object of the expedition 

February 14th, Major Bowen commanding, left with two 


other regiments, all under the command of the Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the 39th Ohio Infantry, for a point four miles south 
of Burnsville, Miss., with wagon train, to procure lumber. 
We reached the mills in the afternoon of the 15th, but owing 
to the heavy rains which had been falling for two or three 
days, only two hundred feet of lumber could be hauled in 
each wagon, and, even with this small load, it was almost im- 
possible to get through the swamps, so that we were ten hours 
in going four miles. 

On the 16th Ave left Burnsville, Miss., for Corinth, on the 
Farmington road, at four o'clock P. M. About dark a steady 
rain set in, and continued during the night. The commanding 
officer continued the march during that day and until ten 
o'clock at night, halting at Farmington. At times the dark- 
ness was intense, the men constantly falling down, being un- 
able to select good stepping-places. We vo aohed Corinth on 
February 17th, dirty, tired and hungry, having marched for- 
ty-six miles. 

February 25th, 1863, the regiment under command of Ma- 
jor Bowen, started with an expedition, under Colonel T. W. 
Sweeney, for Jacinto, Miss., and beyond if necessary, to assist 
Colonel Cornyn and the 10th Missouri Cavalry in bringing in 
prisoners, stock, &c, captured by them. We started during 
a terrible rain-storm. All the gulches were full of water, and 
the small streams flooded. Soon after leaving Corinth, we 
were obliged to wade in water waist-deep. 

We reached Jacinto on the 27th of February, after turning- 
several times from impassable streams and taking new roads. 
The rain fell in torrents all the time. The roads were in such 
a condition that we could proceed no further than Jacinto, 
nor could we return until the storm should abate. We took 
up quarters in unoccupied houses, and remained until March 
4th, when Colonel Cornyn and command came up, and we 
returned to Corinth, marching sixteen miles in five hours. 
The total distance marched was sixty-four miles, including 
twenty-five miles foraging from Jacinto. 


The 52d Illinois left Corinth April loth, 1863, under com- 
mand of Lieutenant-Colonel John S. Wilcox, with an expedi- 
tion composed of four brigades of infantry, one brigade of 
cavalry and fourteen pieces of artillery, all under the com- 
mand of Brigadier-General G. M. Dodge — destination north- 
ern Alabama. We marched to Burnsville on the 15th, and 
on the 16th passed through Iuka and camped within two miles 
of Big Bear Creek. April 17th, we were all day crossing the 
creek : had some skirmishing in the morning to gain posses- 
sion of the ford. 

During the afternoon of the 17th, the cavalry, under Colonel 
Cornyn, had several engagements with the enemy, and at one 
time came near being defeated, losing one gun and seventy 
prisoners. The 52d, with the 1st Brigade, was ordered to 
the support of the cavalry. We arrived at their camp at 
twelve o'clock on the night of the 17th, and on the morning 
of the 18th advanced cautiously, but found no enemy. At 
noon we started back to rejoin the main force at Big Bear 
Creek, arriving in the evening, nearly worn out. During the 
afternoon of the 20th, while on Oats Hill, Colonel Sweeney 
received his commission as Brigadier-General of Volunteers. 

On the 23d the whole force advanced, the 1st Brigade lead- 
ing and the 52d deployed as skirmishers. We drove the en- 
emy steadily as we moved on, the artillery keeping up a ter- 
rific fire over our heads. We bivouacked that night in line 
of battle near Little Bear Creek, Ala. 

April 24th, we resumed the march at daylight, arriving in 
Tuscumbia at half-past one P. M. We went into camp just 
east of the town, and remained until the 27th. The cavalry, 
during this time, was skirmishing with the enemy in the front. 

April 27th, the entire command moved forward in the 
direction of Courtland and Decatur. Wc came upon the en- 
emy in force upon the opposite side of Town Creek, having 
his force augmented by the arrival of General Forrest with 
one thousand men. After a half-hour's skirmishing, wc biv- 
ouacked for the night, April 28th. Heavy skirmishing and 


artillery firing continued without interruption from daylight 
until noon. Gaining possession of the railroad bridge, we 
effected a crossing, and advanced in line of battle for three 
miles, driving the enemy. We then returned, re-crossed the 
bridges, and bivouacked in the same place as the night before. 

April 29th, we moved back en route for Corinth. At 
Burnsville we obtained rations, which were fully appreciated 
by the men, having been for several days subsisting on limited 
rations. We arrived in Corinth May 2nd, 1863, fully pre- 
pared to enjoy good quarters and rest, having marched one 
hundred and sixty miles. 

July 7th, 1863, the regiment, under command of Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Wilcox, was ordered to Burnsville, Miss., to sup- 
port our cavalry, then engaging Roddy, near Iuka, Miss The 
enemy fell back before we came up. We returned to camp 
the next day. 

August 18th, 1863, Colonel Wilcox commanding, we moved 
to Germantown, Tenn., by the Memphis and Charleston Rail- 
road. Our headquarters and nine companies were stationed 
at Germantown, (fifteen miles from Memphis,) and Company 
B at White Station, five miles west on the same railroad. 

October 20th, Colonel Wilcox commanding, we left Ger- 
mantown via Memphis and Charleston Railroad, for Iuka, 
Miss. October 31st, we bivouacked three and a half miles 
east of Iuka, and remained until November 6th, 1863. At 
this date the whole left wing, 16th Army Corps, under com- 
mand of General Dodge, moved eastward to follow General 
Sherman to Stevenson, Ala., as we then supposed. 

We arrived at Eastport at noon of the 6th, and crossed the 
Tennessee river in transports. That night, November 7th, we 
marched only eight miles. November 8th, we resumed the 
march at daylight, and continued until eleven o'clock at night, 
making but slow progress in crossing numerous streams and 
swamps. We marched only fifteen miles that day. We ar- 
rived in Pulaski, Tenn., forty-five miles west of Decatur, Ala., 
on the 11th of November, 1863. On the 12th of November, 


we were informed that we should stay here some time ; and 
Colonel Wilcox was appointed post commander. The regi- 
ment was assigned to provost duty, Lieutenant-Colonel Bowen 
commanding. The total distance marched from Iuka, Miss., 
to Pulaski, Tenn., was eighty miles. 

January Oth, 18<i4, three-fourths of the regiment having 
re-enlisted as veteran volunteers and mustered as such, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel E. A. Bowen, with three hundred and four 
veterans and twenty-seven officers, left Pulaski for Nashville, 
Tenn., en route to Illinois for furlough and re-organization. 
We arrived in Chicago at noon of the 17th, and, after partak- 
ing of a splendid repast prepared by the ladies of the Soldiers' 
House, the regiment proceeded to Geneva, Kane County, Illi- 
nois. Here, on the 20th, the men received furloughs for 
thirty days ; and many of the officers were placed on recruit- 
ing service. 

The 52d rendezvoused at Elgin, February 19th, 1864, the 
day on which the men's furloughs expired. February 23d, 
Captain Pomeroy mustered into service the recruits, and paid 
them each one month's advance pay and sixty dollars ad- 
vance bounty. While the men were on furlough, Colonel 
Wilcox superintended their recruiting for the regiment, with 
headquarters at Elgin. 

February 24th, Colonel J. S. Wilcox, having tendered his 
resignation, issued an order placing Lieutenant-Color el E. A. 
Bowen in command of the regiment, then under marching 
orders to proceed immediately to Nashville, en route for the 
army. It left Elgin on the 24th of February, aud arrived in 
Chicago at one o'clock P. M. Transportation not being in 
readiness, the command marched to the Soldiers' Rest, where 
it remained until the next morning. 

The regiment proceeded to Pulaski, Tenn., via Louisville 
and Nashville, arriving on the 29th, and there took its former 
position in the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, left wing of the Kith 
Army Corps. 

It returned to the field with one hundred and seventy-three 


fresh recruits, who increased its strength to six hundred and 
seventy-three men. 

From November 10th, 1861, to March 1st, 1864, it had 
traveled 5575 miles, in the following manner : on transports 
by river, 09-4 miles; by railroad, 3500 miles; on foot, 1081 

On May 4th, 1864, the veteranized regiment proceeded to 
Chattanooga by rail, and commenced the campaign which re- 
sulted in the capture of Atlanta. It marched through 
Gordon's Mills below and Snake Creek Gap to Resaca, 
where it came under fire of the enemy. 

On the 14th and 15th it was engaged in skirmishing, with 
slight loss ; and with tedious and laborious night-marching, 
reached Kingston on the 23d, Dallas on the 26th, and, on the 
27th, lost three men of Company F on the skirmish-line. At 
night they constructed earth-works which protected them in 
the battle of the subsequent day. 

On the 30th they moved forward to the front line of works, 
where they spent two days constantly exposed to fire. In 
three subsequent days, they constructed eight hundred yards 
of formidable breastworks. 

The history of the regiment from this time till, on the 7th 
of September, the rebels evacuated Atlanta, is a story of con- 
stant toil, frequent skirmishes, severe marches, constant labor 
in the construction of earthworks by night, in which they were 
partially sheltered from the enemy's fire by day. Happy 
were they when a good ditch could be their shelter from the 
missiles of the foe. In this time they had marched 442 miles, 
constructed 2285 yards of breastsworks, and expended 46,500 
rounds of ammunition in contests with the enemy ; they had 
lost six killed and thirty-two wounded ; they had captured 
thirty-eight prisoners and one hundred and seventy-five stand 

of arms. 

After the close of the siege of Atlanta, Colonel Bowen, 
whose term of service had expired, was mustered out, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel J. D. Davis, who had fought his way up 
from the ranks, became its Colonel. 


A recapitulation of the history of the regiment at this time 
showed that the regiment had taken an honorable part in 
twenty pitched battles and sharp skirmishes ; had lost sixty- 
one by death in battle and from wounds ; had had two hun- 
dred and six wounded, and had constructed over four thou- 
sand yards of breastworks. 

After the capture of Atlanta, the regiment moved back to 
Rome, and then, with Sherman's grand army, struck out 
across the country for Savannah. Savannah was captured 
on the 20th of December, and, on the 5th of February, the 
regiment, again on the march, crossed into South Carolina 
with yells of triumph as they landed on the soil of the mother 
of the rebellion. They moved on through Columbia, its capi- 
tal, on the 17th, and saw with satisfaction the fine city burned 
that night to the ground. 

With arduous marching and severe labor, but abundant 
provisions and excellent health, the regiment moved on to 
Camden, Fayetteville and Raleigh, and there, when Johnston's 
army had surrendered and the military power of the rebellion 
had been finally destroyed, they commenced their march 
through Petersburg, Richmond and Fredericksburg to Wash- 
ington, which they reached in time to participate in the grand 
review. This homeward march is described as the most severe 
and exhausting of any that they had made during their four 
years of service. 

After ten days of rest in camp at Georgetown, the regiment 
was transported to Louisville, where it lay in camp nearly :l 
month, and was then moved to Chicago, where it was paid ott' 
on the 11th of July, and, after four years of arduous and hon- 
orable service, its members were mustered out, and joyfully 
became private citizens once more. 

Men of DeKalb County in the 52d Illinois Inf. 




John S. Brown, South Grove, resigned Feb. 18, 1802. 
E. M. Knapp, Sycamore, killed at Shiloh. 


Edward M. Knapp, Sycamore, promoted. 

Erskin M. Hoyt, Sycamore, resigned July 15, 1862. 

Oscar VV. Phelps, Sycamore, resigned Jan. 12, 1803. 

Albert C. Perry, Sycamore, promoted Major. 

Alexander B. Ross, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 


Erskin M. Hoyt, Sycamore, promoted. 
Oscar W. Phelps, Sycamore, promoted. 
Albeit C. Perry, Sycamore, promoted. 
John Purcell, South Grove, mustered out as Sergeant, July 6, 1865. 



Lewis A. Jones, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 
Alonzo J. Foster, DeKalb. 
Ralph Vanhouten, DeKalb. 
Jerry C. Marvin, Sycamore. 
Alonzo E. Carr, Genoa. 


William H. Simmons, Sycamore. 

Michael Courser, Sycamore. 

Frederick J. Craft, Sycamore, re-enlisted as a veteran. 

Leonard J. Stults, DeKalb. 

Albert, 0. Perry, Sycamore, promoted Sergeant and 2d Lieutenant. 

Alexander B. Ross. Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

William Fountain, DeKalb, discharged Nov. 19, 1864 ; term expired 

Charles White, Sycamore, discharged Nov. 19, 1864. 


Uoraui B. Smith. DeKalb county (Co. H.) 



Ames Therman, South Grove. 

Arnold James, South Grove, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Aburn Robert S.. S3'camore, deserted Dec, 12, 18(33 ; deranged. 

Brown John J., DeKalb. 

Black Alva M., South Grove. 

Brisbin Philander, South Grove, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Burns Michael, Sycamore, discharged Nov. 19, 18G4 ; term expired. 

Bermander Charles, Sycamore. 

Boylen Thomas, South Grove, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Bowman Edward, South Grove, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Bowley William, Huntley. 

Ohien John, South Grove, deserted Dec. 10, 18G1. 

Campbell Henry, Sycamore. 

Cheasbro Joseph M., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Clemmense Eli, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Clemmense James, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Carver Henry, Sycamore, 

Dickson Sheriden, Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Deyoe William P., South Grove. 

Deane David, South Grove. 

Davenport William, DeKalb, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Garey James, DeKalb, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Gibbins George, Sycamore. 

Goold Luther C Sycamore. 

Gage Hiram, Sycamore. 

Gamage Alden B., Malta, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Gieger George, South Grove, re enlisted as veteran. 

Grout Henry P., Sycamore. 

Halwick Sidney W., Malta, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Hall Reuben G., Sycariiore. 

Hall William A., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Hoaglen Michael, South Grove, discharged Nov. 19, 18G4 ; term expired.- 

Kittle James, Sycamore. 

Maranville Irving, DeKalb. 

Morehouse Charles, Malta. 

McCarty Allen, South Grove, discharged Nov. 19, 18G4 ; term expired. 

Mullen Martin, South Grove, transferred to Company E, Jan. 1, 18G2. 

Milen Patrick, South Grove, discharged at Geneva, 111. 

Percell John, South Grove, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Pierce Charles J., Genoa, discharged Nov. 19, 18G4 ; term expired. 

Petrie Joseph, Sycamore. 

Petrie James, Sycamore. 

Penney Frederick, South Grove. 

Phelps Oscar W., Sycamore, promoted Sergeant, then 2d Lieutenant. 

Rogers Albert, Sycamore, discharged Nov. 19, 18G4 ; term expired. 

Rhoades Henry, DeKalb, re enlisted as veteran. 

Stanley Charles M., Sycamore, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Scally James, South Grove, transferred to Company E, .Ian. 1, 18G2. 

Smith John. South Grove, discharged Dec. 1G, 1801. 

Thomas Leroy E., South tirove, discharged No. 19, 1804 ; term expired. 

Taylor William, DeKalb, 

Taylor Daniel, DeKalb, re-enlisted as veteran. 

Taylor Philander, DeKalb. 

\ auhonten Bradley, DeKalb. 

Vanhonten Bradford, DeKalb. 

Walker George, Sycamore. 



Arnold James, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 

Brisbin Philander, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 18G5. 

Boylen Thomas, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 18G5, as Corporal. 

Bowman Edward, Sycamore, mustered out July G, 1865. 

Cheasbro Joseph M., Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865, as Sergeant. 

Clemmens Eli, Sycamore, mustered out July G, 1865. 

Clemmens James, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865 — absent w. leave. 

Dickson Sheriden, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 

Davenport William, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 18G5. 

Gamage Alden B., Sycamore, m. out July G, 1865, as Sergeant ; abs. w. leave. 

Geiger George, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865, as Corporal. 

Gary James, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 

Hall William, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 

Hatch Daniel P., Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 

Hill John, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 18G5 ; was prisoner. 

Halwick Sidney W., Sycamore, killed on skirmish line, August 20, 1864. 

Jones Lewis A., Sycamore, mustered out July G, 1865, as Corporal. 

Lawless Charles, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865, as Corporal. 

Purcell John, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 18G5, as 1st Sergeant. 

Ross Alexander B., Sycamore, promoted Sergeant and 1st Lieutenant. 

Rhoads Henry, Sycamore, mustered out July G, 18C5. 

Stanley Charles M., Sycamore, mustered out July 15, 1865; was prisoner. 

Taylor Daniel, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 

Whitehead Malvin B., Sycamore, mustered out July 6. 1865. 


Black David T., Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 
Congdon William, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 
Cunningham Michael, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 
Campbell Andrew J., Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 
Hall Reuben G., Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 
Hampton Benjamin M., Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 18G5. 
Morgan John R., Sycamore, mustered out July G, 1865. 
Nagle William, Sycamore, mustered out July 6, 1865. 

The 132d Illinois Infantry. 

The 132d Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment was organ- 
ized at Camp Fry, Chicago, Illinois, by Colonel Thomas J. 
Pickett, and was mustered in for one hundred days from June 
1st, 1864. 

On the 6th of June it started for Columbus, Kentucky, and 
arrived on the 8th, reporting to Brigadier-General Henry 
Prince. On the 15th of June, it moved to Paducah, Ken- 
tucky, and reported to Colonel S. G. Hicks. 

The regiment remained on duty at Paducah until the expi- 
ration of its service, when it moved to Chicago, and was mus- 
tered out October 17th, 1864. 

The commissioned officers of Company F were : Captain, 
Isaac S. Bunnel ; 1st Lieutenant, Jonathan Dow ; 2nd Lieu- 
tenant, Albert A. Sanborn. 



William Raymond, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. ' 
Jackson Denyo, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Eli H. Burdick, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
William H. Beavers, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Mark G. Collson, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 


Charles L. Flower, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Ethan P. Allen, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
John Young, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Fervis Potter, Paw Paw, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
James H. Connell, Chicago, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Eugene H. Jarvis, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Charles W. Bellis, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Walter Olmstead, Genoa, mustered cut Oct. 17, 1864. 



William H. Deily, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 

William H. Willmarth, DeKalb county, mustered out Oct. 17, 18(54. 


Burgess Lewis, (wagoner) Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Atwood Morris, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1863. 
Allen Benjamin, South Grove, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Artlepp Homer, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Anderson Frank, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Brown Depue, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Brown Herbert E., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Beeson William H., Sycamore, rejected. 
Crosby William. Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Cobb Henry, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Davis Orville, Sycamore, mustered ont Oct. 17, 1864. 
Dayton Lewis, Sycamore, mustered out. Oct. 17, 1864. 
Fields Delancey, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17. 1864. 
Flood Matthew, Lodi, musteced out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Granger Eugene, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1 S ' > t . 
Gilbert Leonard, South Grove, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Gieenfield I. Squire, DeKalb, mustered out. Oct.. 17, 1864. 
Hibbard Alfred, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Holcomb Orator, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Hampton William S., Paw Paw, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Haish Christian, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Haish Henry W., Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Hathaway William C, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Johnston James B., Sycamore, mustered out. Oct. 17, 1^04. 
Kellogg Homer W., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Lester Almiraem, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Lott Frank W., Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Lindsay William, Sycamore, mustered out (Jet. 17, 1864. 
Llnderman Levi, Sycamore, mustered out. Oct. 17, 1864. 
Lloyd Louis, Malta, mustered out. Oct. 17, 1864. 
Marshall Lucius W., Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864, 
Mason Seth M., South Grove, mustered out Oct. 17, is: it 
Partridge Zelotes B., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Perry Ambrose S., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1804. 
Richmond Merwin, Lodi, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Reef John, Cortland, mustered out Oct. 17. 1864. 
Spring Herbert, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Smith Charles, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17. 1864. 
Smith Enoch, DeKalb, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Stephenson Charles Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Snyder William, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Stone Almond D., South Grove, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Stanton Oliver J., Paw Paw, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Tewkesbury Charles, South Grove, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Tewkesbury Warren F., Sycamore, mustered out. Oct. 17. 1864. 
Talbot William, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Williams Theodore, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Warren Daniel F., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Warren George M., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Willis Henry B., Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 
Wilkins Joseph, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 186 I. 
Wright George, Sycamore, mustered out Oct. 17, 1864. 

The 156th Illinois Infantry. 

Company II of this regiment was raised principally by 
Hon. William Patten of Sandwich, who was made its Captain. 
It was one of several hundred regiments called out for one 
year's service, and to which was assigned the duty of guarding 
the communications of the great armies at the front, and, 
while they swept on the foe, preventing the ravages of rebel 
guerrillas in their rear. 

It was mustered into service March 9th, 1865; and the 
rebellion having been crushed about three months after, it 
was discharged from service on September 20th of the same 

The commissioned officers of Company II were : Captain, 
William Patten ; 1st Lieutenants, William Jobs and Eugene 
M. Fuller ; 2nd Lieutenants, Caleb Walker and John W. 
Libley, — all of Somonauk. 


Eugene Fuller, Somonauk, promoted 1st Lieutenant. 

Edmund B. Newton, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, I860, as private. 

James C. Darnell, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, I860. 

Henry Wright, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, I860. 


Warren Walker, Somonauk, mustered out May 16, 1865. 
Homer A. Wagner, Somonauk, mustered out May 20, 1865. 
George A. Smith, Somonauk, mustered out July 29, 1865, as private. 
William T. Shiland, Somonauk, mustered out Aug. 18, 1865. 
David O. Cole, Somonauk, absent sick at muster out of regiment. 
Henry C. Medebach, Somonauk, mustered out Aug. 1, 1865. 


William Corke, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, 1865. 
James M. Skinner, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, 1865. 




Adams Marcellus D., Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, 1865, as Sergeant. 

Armstrong John J., Somonauk, mustered o ,- t Sept, 20, 1865, as Corporal. 

Bishop Grin S., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, 1865. 

Burk Robert £., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, 1365. 

Covell Simeon L., Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, 1865. 

Campin Sylvester, Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, 1865. 

Deem Henry E., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, 1865. 

Daniels Harmon, Somonauk, died at Memphis, Aug. 27, 1865. 

Dennewitz Henry, Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, '65. 

Hough Martin L., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Hamlin Benjamin, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Hartshorn Manly W., Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, '65. 

Hough Calvin, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Harrison William H., Somonauk. mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Jacobs John, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Leavitt Levi, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Manning Henry, Somonauk, absent sick at mustering out of regiment, 

Manning John C, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Miller Henry, Somonauk. mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Owen William R., Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, '65. 

Rogers Daniel H., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Smith Albert, Somonauk, promoted principal musician. 

Smith Clark A., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

Seaton Nelson J., Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, '65. 

Tripp John M., Somonauk, mustered out August 1, '65. 

VanFleet Victor I)., Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65, as Corporal. 

VanDerveer Ferdinand, Somonauk, died at Louisville, Ky., March 30, '65. 

Wilder Alexander, Somonauk, mustered out Sept, 20, '65. 

Wagner George, Somonauk, died at Nashville, Tenn., May 4, '65. 

Weisbeck Heinrich, Somonauk, mustered out Sept. 20, '65. 

The remainder of the company were from other counties. 




Although the annals of DeKalb County might more properly 
commence with the organization of the County which occurred 
in the year 1837, yet many events of interest and importance 
occurred before that time, which ought properly to be recorded. 

As the territory from which this County was subsequently 
formed was remote from all water communication, and from 
the customary routes of the earliest travellers, it is probable 
that no white man had ever made even a temporary sojourn 
within its borders, until in the year 

a little army of United States troops under command of 
General Winfield Scott, passing from their head-quarters at 
Fort Dearborn, or Chicago, in pursuit of Black Hawk's 
marauding bands, crossed the Fox River near the present site 
of the village of St Charles, and encamped on the banks of 
the Kishwaukee in the present town of Kingston. Their 
camp was made near the outlet of Deer Creek, on lands now 
belonging to the estate of George L. Wood. The trail which 
the army made, was broad and plainly marked, and three 
years later, when the first settlers moved in, coming with 
but vague ideas of what direction they had best pursue, many 
followed Scott's trail for want of something better to follow, 
and, finding upon the banks of the Kishwaukee, or Sycamore 
river, as fertile and beautiful a region of country as they 
could desire, they made their homes there. 


The battle of Stillman's Run, in which an advanced and 
too ambitious portion of our army organized to drive out 
Black Hawk's forces, were defeated and driven back, occurred 
in this summer, as elsewhere related, near the north-western 
portion of this County, and the entire army of volunteers 
returning for re-organization to Ottawa, passed through 
Pawpaw Grove and, encamped there. 


In the autumn of this year, some hunters from Ottawa or 
that region which was one of the earliest settled points of the 
country, report having penetrated into the southern portion 
of the County in pursuit of game. They found the Indians 
still sore over their defeat, and still sufficiently numerous and 
irritable to cause their yarty to make a speedy evacuation 
of the country. 

In the spring and summer of this year, we have accounts 
of exploring expeditions into this section of the country, by 
three or four individuals. Among them was Frederic Love, 
who subsequently became a leading citizen, and a Mr. Hol- 
lenback, from near Ottawa. Love soon returned to his 
temporary home upon the Fox River, and did not move to this 
place until a year or two later. Hollenback, who had been 
driven from his home near Newark during the Indian war, 
came north through Newark, Somonauk, and Lost Grove, as 
far as the " Rig Woods " in Sycamore, and on his return, 
made a claim in settlers" fashion, to a portion of the fine grove 
since known as Squaw Grove, and to which he gave that name, 
because of the large numbers of Squaws that were encamped 
there, the male Indians being off on a hunting expedition. 
A mail route from Chicago to John Dixon's residence on the 
Rock River was this year established, which crossed the 
southern end of the County ; and during the summer, a log 
hut was built for a station house on this line at the crossing 
of Somonauk Creek. This was probably the first habitation 


of a white man, erected in the County. Whoever it was that 
first inhabited it, he abandoned it in the autumn, for when 
Mr. William Sebree, who had been charmed by the description 
that Hollenback had given of the attractions of this section of 
country moved in from the South and settled at Squaw Grove 
in the fall, this cabin stood vacant. A short time after, it 
was occupied by a Mr. Robinson, who occupied it a few 
months, then sold to Mr Reuben Root who kept a tavern in 
it, during the following year. It subsequently became, and 
still remains the property of the Beveridge family. 

Mr. Sebree seems to have been the first settler who became 
a permanent resident of the County. He was a Virginian, 
brought a large family with him, and a considerable drove of 
stock. He lived for a few days in a deserted Indian wigwam, 
then, with crotches for a frame, and the bark of which a 
number of these wigwams were composed for a covering, he 
built a shelter, slightly more convenient, in which he lived a 
few weeks ; then, as winter came on, put up a solid, substan- 
tial double-lo2 cabin, which remained the home of a numerous 
family, and a stopping place for travellers for nearly twenty 


It was in the spring of this year when the treaty with the 
Indians which followed the Black Hawk war had bound them 
to leave this country for the wilderness beyond the great 
Father of Waters, that the first considerable body of white 
settlers came into the County. So soon in the early spring- 
time as the groves began to put out* their leaves, and the 
emerald grass of the beautiful prairies afforded food for the 
travellers' teams, the gleam of the white-topped wagon of the 
early settler might have been seen moving over the prairie 
to hesitate, stop, and finally encamp near some grove, spring 
or stream, that seemed to afford the requisites and advantages 
of a good claim. The wagon was generally propelled by 
three or four yoke of oxen, and canopied with white cotton. 
It contained the family clothing, bedding, and provisions. It 


was garnished on its exterior, with pots, pans, pails, and other 
cooking utensils ; generally, also, by a coop of chickens and 
a diminutive pig or two : and it was usually followed by a 
small drove of colts, cows, sheep, calves, and other young 
stock. Early settlers say that it was not uncommon in those 
days for the careful mistress of the wagon to milk the cows 
in the morning, place the milk where the motion of the wagon 
would churn it during the day, and thus keep up a supply of 
fresh butter ; while the poultry in the coops did not refuse to 
contribute a supply of eggs, which with other substantiate from 
the wagon, enabled the emigrant's wife to " scare up " a 
pretty good meal at short notice. Each night they camped, 
made a fire, partook of the evening meal and then retired into 
the recesses of the wagon to sleep the sleep of health, of hope 
and innocence. 

Hundreds of such wagons passed into DeKalb county in 
the early months of this year, and many went beyond its 
boundaries, to the Rock River country, which was first set- 
tled during this year. Among the occupants of one of 
these was Ambrose Spencer, Esq., who, after thirty 
years of eventful life in various sections of the country, has 
now returned to take up his residence on the identical spot 
in the thriving village of DeKalb, where thirty-three years 
ago he pitched his tent, in what was then a complete solitude. 

The first work of the new comer, after having selected a 
spot of land that suited him, was to stake out, or with a plow 
to furrow around, as much of the prairie as he wanted, and 
to " blaze" the trees in a line surrounding a sufficient quan- 
tity of timbered lands. These processes gave him what was 
called a squatters claim to the land that he thus enclosed, and 
his claim, if not too unreasonably extensive, was regarded as 
sacred by all who came after him. His next work was usually 
to construct a dwelling of some kind. Some commenced at 
once to build good solid substantial dwellings of logs, notched 
at the ends and laid up thoroughly and durably ; finished 
with a roof of shakes or split staves, and made convenient 


with a window and door. But to many of the new comers, 
hurried with the imperatively necessary duties of breaking 
up the land and planting a crop for future subsistence, this 
was thought to involve too much labor ; such houses were a 
little extravagant. Many of the homes in which settlers, 
now wealthy, spent the first months of their residence here 
were built entirely of shakes and saplings. 

A tall straight oak was felled, cut into four or five foot 
lengths, then split in broad thin sections, and when a cord or 
two of these was prepared and a few crotches and poles were 
cut, the material was all ready. Four crotches were set in 
the ground, poles laid across, shakes laid up perpendicularly 
against these poles and fastened with withes, enclosing a space 
about eight by twelve feet. Then a roof of these shakes was 
laid on and made secure by the weight of heavy poles or 
boulders from the prairie. One end was of tenleft open for 
an entrance, and the shanty, although without floor, door or 
window, was complete. A person could stand erect in the 
middle but not at the sides. It furnished little more 
space than was necessary for the bed and family valuables : 
the cooking was done out of doors. 

The new comers were generally young ardent and hopeful. 
Most of them had been accustomed to the comforts, and in- 
deed, to the luxuries of life. The founders of a new settle- 
ment, they looked forward with eagerness to the time, when 
their fertile acres should be transformed into finished and 
well stocked farms, their wretched shanties and log stables, 
into elegant dwellings and spacious barns. They regarded 
their present comfortless habitations, with that peculiar pleas- 
ure which every person feels for work that his own hands 
have made, and hopeful for the future, they looked upon their 
present discomforts with that cheerful indifference that robs 
trouble of its sting, and wards off the annoyances of the 
present with a panoply of confident hopes for the future. 

It was in the summer of this year, that the new settlers, 
now become comparatively numerous, felt the want of some 


kind of courts and civil officers. It is true that as a general 
rule, the best of good feeling prevailed among them. Every- 
body regarded everybody else with a friendliness, and each 
treated the other with a degree of kindness and good fellow- 
ship that old settlers now recall with warmest satisfaction. The 
troubles of one were shared by all his neighbors, and every 
mans necessities were supplied with a generosity and unsel- 
fishness that is now remembered almost with tears of gratitude. 
But there were some black sheep in the flock. It was plain 
that they could not always live in this style of Arcadian sim- 

This section of country was then known as the Kishwaukcc 
country, and was a part of the great county of LaSallc, 
which extended from the Illinois river on the south, to the 
line of Wisconsin territory on the north, and on the cast to 
Cook county. A commission was procured from Ottawa, 
then as now, its county seat, for the election of two Justices 
of the peace, and in June of this year an election was held. 
Stephen Mowry and Joseph Collier were chosen Justices, 
the first public officers ever elected in this section of country. 
It is well remembered that the terrors of the law to be admin- 
istered by these formidable courts induced a very prompt and 
satisfactory settlement of many little debts that had been in- 
curred by some of the new comers. There were not many 
suits commenced, but there was a general liquidation of ac- 
counts, and that instanter. 

But the most troublesome and weighty controversies that 
vexed the souls of the Squatters upon these new lands, were 
the disputes about the boundaries of claims and the rights of 
claimants. How much land might a man claim ? Might he 
make a claim for himself; another for his brother ; a third for 
his maiden aunt, and so through his family ? Might he sell 
his claim ? Must he reside upon it in order to hold it ? 

These and like questions, threatened to make serious 
trouble, and to avert threatened conflict upon these questions, 
a meeting of settlers was held on the 5th of September, at 



the shanty of Harmon Miller upon the east bank of the Kish- 
waukee or Sycamore river, at which a Claim Association was 
organized to decide such disputed questions as should arise, 
and a constitution was drawn up and signed by most of the 
settlers, in which all agreed to abide by the decision of the five 
Commissioners then selected, and to aid in enforcing their 

Another means of keeping peace and promoting tranquil- 
ity was the establishment of religious services. In the autumn 
of this year almost before the new comers had got a roof 
over their heads ; before the Indians had removed ; before 
the first semblance of civil government had been established ; 
the devoted missionaries of the Methodist Church made their 
way into the country, gathered together little audiences of 
eight or ten, wherever in grove, hut or shanty, they could be 
found, preached, prayed, sang hymns, and exhorted the new 
comers to found a community of christian people, and amid 
the pressing cares of this, not to forget to prepare for another 
— an immortal life. Rev. Leander. Walker, now an eminent 
clergyman of the Methodist denomination, was probably the 
pioneer preacher of DeKalb county. 

As winter approached and the discomforts of their new 
houses became less endurable, large numbers of the new 
comers seeing no especial necessity fur remaining, moved 
back to more comfortable residences on the Fox river, to 
Joliet or whatever places might have been their former 

Of those who remained and spent this winter at the north 
part of the county, were Dr. Norbo, a Norwegian, after Avhom 
Norwegian Grove was named, and who made some pretense 
of being* a physician, Mr. Charters, a Frenchman, who gave 
name to Charters Grove, Dr. Lee, who first claimed the farm 
since occupied by Ephraim Hall; Rufus Colton, Lyman Judd, 
Eli Barns, Phineas Stevens, Alpheus Jenks, Shubael Jenks, 
James Root, Levi C. Barber, James Peaslee, Norman C. 
Moore, Stephen Sherwood, W. A. Miller, Henry Madden, 


Peter Lamois, Lysander Darling, Robert Robb, Isaiah Fair- 
clo, Harmon Miller, James Green, Nathan Billings, Lewis 
Griggs, Benj. Schoonover, John, Frail and Morris, Erasmus 
and George Walrod. At Squaw Grove were William Sebree 
and sons, Samuel Miller, Jacob Lee, John Esterbrooks and 
David Leggett. At Somonauk were David and William Sly, 
Reuben Root and Dr. Arnold. 

Late in the autumn of this year Mr. Edwin Town and his 
brother David Town, established themselves at Shabbonas 
Grove, lived for a few weeks in the deserted wigwams of the 
Indians, and on the first day of January 1830, raised the first 
log cabin and became the first white settlers of Shabbona's 
Grove. Peter Lamois, who, with Jesse C. Kellogg and 
Lysander Darling were among the first settlers of what is 
now the town of Sycamore, remained to spend the winter in 
Kellogg's cabin. Peter was a shrewd, speculating, half-yan- 
keefied Frenchman, and had with him, as companion and 
help, a half-civilized Indian lad called Shaw-ne-neese. It 
occurred to him, that with the help of the boy, who had re- 
lations living near what is now Aurora, and of course spoke 
the language of the Indians around, a good trade could be 
established with the straggling Indians who still remained in 
the sale of whisky. So off goes Peter with his oxen and 
wagon, and soon returned with a barrel of whisky, which was 
duly broached and advertised among the Indians in all the 
country round. Little money had the poor Indians, but they 
had ponies and blankets, and trinkets to sell, so that a 
flourishing trade was speedily established ; the Indians 
promising to deliver ponies when they had received the. 
equivalent in whisky. The whisky went off rapidly, yet so 
convenient was the spring to Peter's shanty, that the quantity 
in the barrel was not seriously diminished ; he filled water at 
the bung as freely as he drew good ne tosh from the spigot. 
Soon Peter's best customers had each become indebted to him 
in the sum of a pony or two, and he began to hint that it was 
time to settle. Peter unfortunately, broached the subject 


at a time when a party of them were present, all well warmed 
up with good ne tosh. The Indians held an indignation 
meeting, at once and on the spot. They put in a plea of 
failure of consideration — the good ne tosh that Peter had sold 
them was no good — he had cheated them — had sold bad liquor. 
Peter attempted to explain, but the thing could not be 
explained. They grew madder and madder. Shaw-ne-neese 
and Peter each fell under their indignation. Soon an old 
Indian snatched up Shaw-ne-neese upon the pony behind him 
and galloped oft*. Then a real old fashioned Indian war-whoop 
burst from the drunken group, and drawing their knives, they 
rushed upon the first original liquor-dealer of DeK alb County, 
like so many fiends from the pit. 

Peter had a good pair of legs, and he used them. He made 
tracks for the brush, and was fortunate enough to hide from 
their search, until tiring of the chase, they went back to the 
shanty, absorbed the remainder of the whisky, appropriated 
Peter's little stock of clothing, provisions, and cooking utensils, 
and than left the premises. When darkness came, the friendly 
voice of Shaw-ne-neese, calling cautiously through the brush, 
delighted the ears of the discomfitted Peter, and working 
together, they got the oxen yoked, loaded up what little 
remained of their wordly goods, and made tracks for Walker's 
Grove, the settlement from which they came. So it happened 
that the first white man's house in Sycamore was a whisky 
shop, the first settler a rum-seller, and the first row a whisky 

In September of this year the Indians were removed west of 
the Mississippi, in accordance with the provisions of the treaty 
made at Prairie du Chien 1832, at the close of the Black 
Hawk war. They were gathered together at Pawpaw Grove, 
by a government contractor named Rogers. They there re- 
ceived a large payment from the government, then sorrowfully 
loaded their property upon their ponies and left for their new 
homes farther toward the setting sun. 

Some white men of Sycamore who went to the rendezvous 


at Pawpaw Grove to get by gambling, the glittering coin paid 
the Indians, were successful in that object but were set upon 
by those whom they had cheated and narrowly escaped with 
their lives. Straggling bands of Indians travel through the 
country even to this day, but this was the end of Indian 
occupation of the country. 


For many reasons the year 1836 could hardly be reckoned 
as a bright one in the annals of this section of country. 
Comparatively few settlers came in ; the timbered lands of 
the county had nearly all been claimed during the previous 
year, and those who were not able or willing to pay the prices 
demanded by claimants were forced to go further to the west. 
Although the changes of ownership were many, yet the ad- 
ditions to the number of the population were few as compar- 
ed with the previous twelve months. Provisions also grew 
more scarce. The supplies of flour, sugar, salt and other 
articles, now reckoned as the necessaries of life, which the 
new comers had brought with them, had been consumed. 

Hurried by the arduous and constant labors incident to 
making comfortable homes and planting their first crops, 
they found no time to go to distant markets to renew their 
supplies, and, indeed, most of the new comers had exhausted 
their stock of ready money, and had as yet raised nothing 
with which to exchange for, or purchase these commodities. 
They had little or no wheat. The corn raised the previous 
year alone furnished them with bread, and as Green's mills, 
near Ottawa, fifty miles distant furnished the nearest oppor- 
tunity for grinding, many of the settlers pounded their corn 
with pestle and mortar, rather than go so far to convert it 
into meal. 

Their clothing was also in a most dilapidated condition : 
but worse than all, it was a year of sickness. Most of the 
settlers had built upon or near the banks of the streams, and 
in the shelter of the groves. The decaying sod of the newly 
broken prairie, which surrounded their dwellings, filled the 


air with malaria. From the streams, whose sluggishness was 
a main characteristic of this level country, there also arose a 
constant and palpable effluvium that was a fruitful source of 
disease. The ague, that curse of new lands in the fertile 
west, this year became the prevalent complaint. 

Poverty, rags, a scanty diet and the shakes were the fashion 
of the times. 

At a general election held in August of this year, Henry 
Madden, a well known citizen of intelligence, education and 
shrewdness, who resided in what is called the Brush Point 
settlement in the present town of Mayfield, was elected as 
Representative to the State Legislature. His district was 
immense in extent if not in population. Most of the popu- 
lation of the State at this time was in its southern portion. 
Excepting the old French settlements at Ottawa, LaSallc 
Joliet, and the mining town at Galena, there were no large 
towns in northern Illinois. Chicago then consisting only of a 
few log houses, clustered around Fort Dearborn upon the 
banks of the sluggish Chicago river, was indeed now making 
some boastful promises of future commercial importance, but 
they were ridiculed by the incoming settlers ; who hurried 
through the wretched little hamlet of mud and misery to take 
up lands more pleasant to look upon, on the banks of the Rock, 
the Fox, or the Kishwaukee rivers, while they might have 
obtained at the same low rate, those portions of Chicago which 
tens of millions could not now purchase. 

When Benjamin Worden came through the place during 
autumn, and Mark Beaubien, the French trader who kept the 
hotel then, offered to trade him his own claim to eighty acres 
of land near the present Court House, for a pair of French 
ponies that Worden had just before purchased while coming 
through Michigan, for $130, uncle Ben laughed at the idea, 
and told him that he wouldn't take the whole town as a gift 
if he should be required to live in it. 

The whole of northern Illinois was still very thinly settled, 
and Mr. Madden's district extended from what is now Iroquois 


County on the south, to the Wisconsin line upon the north, 
embracing land enough to make a half dozen respectable 
States — land which was fertile and productive, enough to 
support a population of millions. The County of Kane had 
been created during the provious session of the Legislature. 
It was thirty-six miles square, embracing the present County 
of DeKalb, and part of Kendall. But the people of this 
western portion of Kane County, found that Geneva, then as 
now, the County-scat, was too far from their settlement. The 
difficulties of travelling were much greater than at present. 
The country was much more wet, the streams and sloughs 
the great obstructions to prairie travel, were more full of 
water than now. It was a long day's journey to Geneva, and 
to go that distance to try suits, record deeds, and examine 
titles, was too severe a tax upon their resources, of time and 
money. But the more powerful inducement for the erection 
of a new County in this district was, that several embryo 
villages about this region, were ambitious of acquiring the 
added glories of being made the seat of justice for the new 
County, and the people of each, confident that it would be 
selected, worked zealously to secure. as a necessary preliminary, 
although a matter of secondary importance to them, the 
erection of a new County. Having within their borders the 
home of the Representative for this district, they felt that this 
was the time to strike for independence. 

The creation of new Counties was then a principal item of 
business of the State Legislature, and so soon as Mr. Madden, 
after a weary horse-back ride of two hundred and fifty miles 
across the country, reached Vandalia, then the Capital of the 
State, he speedily set himself to introduce and secure the 
passage of, a bill for the creation of a new County, and the 
location of a County-seat. lie was stimulated to zeal in 
this work, by the fact that his own farm at Brush Point, now 

in the township of Mayfield, was rather favorably and cen- 
trally situated in the proposed new County, and he hoped, 


planned, and expected, to secure upon it the location of the 
seat of justice. 


On the 4th day of March, 1837, the act for the creation of 
the County of DcKalb was passed, and in the same bill the 
Counties of Stephenson, Winnebago, and Boone were created 
if this should be sanctioned by the -whole body of voters in 
the respective Counties from which they were detached. The 
whole act, although containing some irrelevant matter, is 
here given : 
"an act to create certain counties therein named. 

" Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of 
Illinois represented in the Gfeneral Assembly, That all that 
tract of country within the following boundaries, to wit : com- 
mencing on the northern boundary of the state where the 
section line between sections three and four, in town twenty- 
nine north, range five east of the fourth principal meridian, 
strikes said line, thence cast on the northern boundary of the 
State, to the range line between ranges nine and ten east, 
thence south on said range line to the northern boundary of 
Ogle County, thence west on the northern boundary of Ogle 
County to and passing the north-west corner of the county to 
the line between sections thirty-three and thirty-four in town- 
ship twenty-six north, range five cast, thence north to the 
place of beginning, shall form a County to be called Stephen- 
son, as a tribute of respect to the late Colonel Benjamin 

" Sec. 2. That the boundaries of Winnebago County shall 
be as follows, to wit : commencing on the state line at the 
north-east corner of the County of Stephenson, thence east on 
the state line to the section line between sections five and six, 
in township forty-six north, range three east of the third 
principal meridian, thence south on said section line to the 
south boundary of township forty-three north, range three 
east, thence w r est on said township line, to the third principrl 
meridian, thence north on said meridian to the ^south-east 



r*hica^o Liilio^raphjn^ CaChicagi 


corner of township twenty-six north, range eleven east of 
fourth principal meridian, thence west on said line to the 
range line between ranges nine and ten cast, thence north to 
the place of beginning. 

" Sec. 3. And that all that tract of country beginning at 
the north east corner of township forty-six north, range four 
east, thence south with the line dividing range four and five 
east, to the sonth-west corner of township forty-three north, 
thence west on said line to the south-east corner of Winnebago 
County, thence north to the place of beginning on the north 
boundary of the State, shall form a County to be called 
Boone, in memory of Colonel Daniel Boone, the first settler 
of the State of Kentucky. 

" Sec. 4. That all that tract of country beginning at the 
south-east corner of township thirty-seven north, range two 
east of the principal meridian, thence north to the north-east 
corner of township forty-two north, range two, east of the 
third principal meridian, and thence along the northern 
boundary of township forty-two in ranges three, four, and 
"five, east of the third principal meridian, thence south on the 
south-cast corner of township thirty-seven north, range five 
east, thence west on said township line, to the place of begin- 
ning, shall form a County to be called DeKalb. 

" Sec. 5. The Counties of Stephenson, Boone, and DeKalb 
, hereby created shall be organized in the following manner, 
to wit : for the purpose of fixing the permanent seat of jus- 
tice of Stephenson county, the following persons are appoint- 
ed commissioners, viz : Vance L. Davidson and Isaac Cham- 
bers, of Jo Daviess county, and Minor York of Ogle county, 
who, or a majority of them, being duly sworn before some 
justice of the peace of this State, faithfully to take into view 
the convenience of the people, the situation of the settlements, 
with an eye to future population and eligibility of the place 
shall meet at the house of William Baker in said county, on 
the first Monday in May next, or as soon thereafter as may 
be, and proceed to examine and determine on a place for the 


permanent seat of justice for said county, and designate the 
same : Provided, that said county seat shall be located on 
lands belonging to the' United States, not occupied by the 
citizens of said county, if a site for said county seat on such 
lands can be found equally eligible, or upon lands claimed by 
citizens of said county ; but if said location shall be made 
upon land claimed by any individual in said county, or any 
individual having pre-emption right or title to the same, the 
claimant or proprietor upon whose lands, claim or pre-emp- 
tion right the said seat of justice may be located, shall make 
a deed in fee simple to any number of acres of said tract, 
not less than twenty to the said county ; or in lieu thereof 
such claimant or owner or owners of such pre-emption right 
shall donate to the said county at least three thousand dollars 
to be applied to building county buildings, within one year 
after the locating of said county seat, and the proceeds of 
such quarter section, if the county seat shall be located upon 
government lands as aforesaid, or the proceeds of such twenty 
acres of land if it be located on lands claimed or owned by 
an individual or individuals ; or the said three thousand dol- 
lars in case such claimant, or owner or owners shall elect to 
pay that sum in lieu of the said twenty acres, shall be appro- 
priated to the erection of a sufficient court house and jail ; and 
until public buildings are erected for the purposes, the courts 
shall be held at such place as the county commissioners shall 

" Sec. 6. An election shall be held at the house of William 
Baker in said county, on the first Monday of May next, for 
one sheriff, one coroner, one recorder, one county surveyor, 
three county commissioners, and one clerk of the county 
commissioners' court, who shall hold their offices until the 
next succeeding general elections, and until their successors 
are elected and qualified ; which said election shall be con- 
ducted in all respects agreeably to the provisions of the law 
regulating elections : Provided that the qualified voters 
present may elect from among their own number three quali- 


fied voters to act as judges of said election, who shall appoint 
wo qualified voters to act as clerks. 

Sec. 7. For the purpose of fixing the permanent county 
seat of Boone county, the following named persons are hereby 
appointed commissioners, viz : John M. Wilson of Will county, 
James Day of LaSalle county, and James II. Woodworth of 
Cook county, who or a majority of them being first duly sworn 
before some justice of the peace of this State, as required in 
the fifth section of this act, shall meet at the house of Simon 
P. Doty, in said county, on the fourth Monday in April next, 
or as soon thereafter, as may be, and shall proceed as is 
required in the fifth section of this act, to locate the county 
seat of said Boone County. 

Sec. 8. For the purpose of fixing the permanent seat of 
justice for the county of DeKalb, Benjamin Thruston of 
LaSalle county, James Walker of Cook county, and German- 
icus Kent of Winnebago county, are hereby appointed com- 
missioners, who or a majority being first duly sworn before 
some justice of the peace of this State, as is required by the 
fifth section of this act, shall meet at the house of Frederick 
Love in said county, on the first Monday in June next, or as 
soon thereafter as may be, and shall proceed in all respects 
as is required in the fifth section of this act, Provided, That 
the qualified voters of Kane county shall meet at the usual 
places of holding elections in said county, on the first Monday 
in May next, and vote for or against the county of DeKalb, 
and if a majority of said voters shall be in favor of making 
the said county, then the county of DeKalb shall be created, 
but if it shall appear that there is a majority against the 
division, then the said county shall remain as it now is. 

Sec. i>. The county and circuit courts of said Boone and 
DeKalb counties, shall be held at such place as the county 
commissioners' courts shall respectively appoint, until the 
county buildings are erected, and the times of holding the 
circuit courts in the counties hereby created, shall be fixed by 


the circuit Judges in whose circuits the counties respectively 
are situated. 

" Sec. 10. And elections shall be held in said Boone and 
DeKalb counties, for county officers in the following manner 
viz : In the county of Boone, at the house of Simon P. Doty, 
on the first Monday in May next, and in the county of 
DeKalb at the house of Frederick Love, on the first Monday 
in July next, and shall be required and conducted in the same 
manner as is prescribed in the sixth section of this act, when 
the same is applicable. 

" Sec. 11. It shall be the duty of the clerks of the county 
commissioners courts of the counties hereby organized, to give 
notice at least ten days previous to the elections to be held as 
is above provided in said counties, and in case there shall be 
no clerk in said counties, it shall be the duty of the clerk of 
the commissioners' court of Winnebago county, to give notice 
of the elections to be held in the counties of Stephenson and 
Boone, and for the election to be held in the county of DeKalb 
notice shall be given in like manner, by the clerks of the com- 
missioners' court of Kane county. 

Sec 12. The citizens of the counties hereby created, are 
entitled in all respects to the same rights and privileges as 
are allowed in general to other counties in this State. 

" Sec. 13. The counties of Stephenson and Boone shall 
continue to form a part of the county of Jo Daviess, until 
organized, and when organized according to this act, shall 
continue attached to the county of Jo Davies in all general 
elections, until otherwise provided by law. The county of 
DeKalb shall continue to form a part of the county of Kane, 
until it shall be organized, and shall vote with the county of 
LaSalle in all general elections, until otherwise provided by 

" Sec. 14. The commissioners appointed to locate said 
county seats, shall receive the sum of two dollars per clay for 
each day necessarily spent by them in discharging the duties 
imposed on them by this act, to be allowed by the county 


commissioners, and to be paid out of the county treasuries 

" Sec. 15. The judges of elections shall deliver to each 
officer elected, a certificate of his election. The poll books 
shall be retained by them until the clerk of the county com- 
missioners' court shall be qualified, and then deliver the said 
poll books to such clerk, who shall make and transmit to the 
Secretary of State an abstract of the votes given at such 
election, in the same time, manner, and form as is required of 
clerks of county commissioners courts in elections in other 
counties in this State. 

" Sec. 16. After the election of county officers as herein 
provided, the persons elected county commissioners, are here- 
by authorized to administer the oaths of office to each other, 
and they are severally authorized to administer the oaths of 
office to all other county officers. And said commissioners 
shall within ten days after their election, meet together as a 
court, and lay off their county into justices districts, and order 
elections to be held for justices of the peace and constables at 
a time to be fixed by them ; and justices of the peace and 
constables elected and qualified, shall hold their offices until 
others are elected and qualified under the law providing for 
the election of Justice of the Peace. The clerks of the county 
commissioners' courts shall deliver to each person elected 
justice of the peace and constable, certificates of such elections ; 
and each person elected justice of the peace is hereby author- 
ized, upon executing bonds as required by law to enter upon 
the duties of his office, and to exercise and perform all the 
duties of justice of the peace as fully as though such person 
had received a commission from the governor. This act shall 
be in force from and after its passage. 

Appkoyed 4th March, 1837." 

This year, 1837, was noted as the first in the series of the 
regular Septennial wet seasons that have recurred every seven 
years since that time. From the first breaking up of winter, 
the rain poured down daily, with very few days exception. 


until late in the autumn. The windows of heaven were 
opened, the rain descended, and the floods came. The country 
was inundated : the roads would have been impassable if there 
had been any roads : the crops were poor and sickly, for want 
of sufficient sunshine. Shabbona, the sagacious old Indian, 
had predicted the wet season. lie had asserted that as far 
back as Indian tradition reached, every seventh year had been 
similarly visited with a superabundance of rain — with almost 
constant storms and flood, and swollen streams. Seven years 
before, the soldiers at Fort Dearborn, then the only white 
inhabitants of the country, had made record of a similar year 
of constant storms and endless floods ; and it is certain that 
on every succeeding seventh year, such seasons have recurred. 
All of those who have resided in the county during the suc- 
ceeding four septentriades, will testify that 1844, 1851, 1858 
and 1865, were each seasons of extraordinary moisture, and 
noted as wet summers. Whether there may or may not be 
anything mystical or magical in the number seven, whether 
this recurrence may have anything to do with the Scriptural 
seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, with the 
seven days of the week, the seven ages of man, the seven vials 
of wrath, the seven seals, seven trumpets, seven witches, or 
seven Pleiades, certain it is, that most of the old residents 
admit the regular return of this seventh year of floods and 
storms, and plan their farming operations with reference to it 
It is worthy of remark, however, that the last of these wet 
seasons, which occurred in 1865, was but a comparatively 
moderate specimen of the kind. The floods began in July, 
and would have attracted no very marked attention, but for 
the general looking for and expectation of it. 

A wet season in those early times, was different from what 
it is at present. It caused far greater inconvenience. Then, 
the country had no artificial drains, no broken and open soil 
to drink up the showers ; it was all covered by the thick, 
tough sod of the native prairie, into which the rain penetrated 
with difficulty. It flowed off into the lowlands or sloughs, 


and being undrained, remained there, 'till evaporated by the 
summer's sun, making them almost impassable for teams. The 
country, ever sinee its first settlement, has been growing more 
and more dry. Lands that ten, or even five years ago, could 
not bear a team at any season of the year, now are constantly 
passable : and that is remarked, even in places where there is 
no artificial drainage or cultivation of soil in the vicinity to 
account for it. This year is also memorable in the annals of 
the country, as the occasion of one of those commercial crises, 
when speculation and extravagance having reached its culmi- 
tion, there comes a financial revulsion which sweeps fortunes 
away like autumn leaves before the whirlwind. Thousands of 
embryo cities had been laid out all over this western country, 
and lots were sold in them at enormous prices. Chicago, 
which during this and the previous year, had been rapidly 
settled and built up to a city of several thousand inhabitants, 
had excited the amazement of the country by stories of the 
immense fortunes so suddenly made by the advance in her 
ands. What had occurred there, it was argued, would soon 
occurln all the young cities farther west. The legislature of 
the previous winter had chartered thousands of miles of rail- 
road which it w r as expected would stimulate an almost magical 
growth of cities and towns. Chicago became a market for 
the sale of towns. They were sold there at auction. Eastern 
people caught the mania, and town plats were sent to them 
for a market, and were greedily purchased. But now came 
the crash. Multitudes of men, ambitious of making a speedy 
fortune, had gone into debt for the purchase of these inchoate 
cities. They were unable to meet their obligations, and una- 
ble to dispose of the lands. Confidence was now gone, and 
with it. the beautiful castles they had built in the air vanished 
like the mists of the morning ; the brilliant-hued bubbles 
burst and disappeared. The nation was whelmed in general 
bankruptcy. But the spirit of speculation had not yet reached 
the section of country embraced in this County. The storms 
of the commercial world swept harmlessly by the little commu- 


nity of quiet farmers gathered here to make their living by 
the peaceful pursuit of agriculture. There were indeed some 
embryo towns laid out, and their proprietors were contending 
for the location of a county scat, but lots were cheap as yet. 
Any man could have one or more if he would build upon it 
and become a resident. A village palt was staked out on the 
north side of the Kishwaukee — then called the Sycamore 
river — and another about the residence of Rufus Colton at 
Coltonville. The Kishwaukee river then, like all of the 
streams of the conntry, much larger, more rapid in its flow 
than now, was supposed capable of furnishing good water 
power. A tract of two miles square, enclosing the present 
village of Sycamore, had been claimed by an association un- 
der the name of C. Sharer & Co. It was composed of Chris- 
tian Sharer, a wealthy capitalist of N. Y., Clark Wright, E. 
Wherry and Mark Daniels. They built a dam and a large 
mill race, whose channel is yet to be seen, and upon it Robt. 
Crawford had commenced to build a factory, designed to 
manufacture chairs and other articles of furniture. Eli G. 
Jewell had a blacksmith and wagon shop in the borders of the 
grove, near the present residence of Roswell Dow, and had, 
also a small collection of goods for sale in his little log house. 
It was regarded as one of the smart rising towns of the county, 
and as a possible county seat. At Coltonville also, the 
proprietor had a little store, and his spacious log house was 
a well known point for travellers. Colton and the few settlers 
who lived in the vicinity, were confident that there Mould be 
the future seat of justice for the County. 

On the first Monday in May of this year, in accordance 
with the provisions of the bill, an election was held in the 
thirty-six square miles, composing Kane County, to determine 
whether the new County of DeKalb should be set off. The 
Geneva interest favored the division, as it made that toAvn 
more central in that County, and would make its continuance 
as the county seat, more probable, but a part of the present 
Kane County was opposed to the division. It was so contrived 


however, that they had no opportunity to express their 
opposition by their votes. The traveling this spring, was 
extremely bad. The mud was unfathomable, the rain 
continuous. The Sheriff of Kane County was unwilling to 
start out on the long and tedious journey necessary to post 
the notices of this election, and readily accepted the offer of 
Mr. Madden, who was going that way, to do it for him. 
Report says that the shrewd Madden was careless about post- 
ing notices of the election in precincts unfavorable to the 
division of the county, while all of those precincts in favor 
of it, were fully notified. The result was a huge majority in 
favor of division, no vote whatever being held in considerable 
parts of that county. It having been decided that the 
new County was duly set off, the Clerk of Kane County issued 
a call for an election to be held at the residence of Frederic 
Love, at which there should be chosen three County Commis- 
sioners, one Sheriff, Recorder, and Coroner. It was held on 
Monday, the 3d of July, 1837. The two parties which as is 
well known, are indispensable to every well-arranged and 
conducted election, went by the name of claim-jumpers and 
anti-claim-jumpers, and divided on the question of sustaining 
or abolishing the claim associations. The people came from 
all parts of the County, and in large numbers. With their 
wagons and horses distributed over a large space, they 
presented the appearance of an animated camp-meeting. After 
the usual amount of log-rolling, caucusing, and liquoring, the 
polls were opened, the votes cast and counted, and a large 
majority were found to be in favor of the Anti-Claim-Jumpers' 
ticket. This was : 

County Commissioners — Rufus Colton, Robert Sterrett, 
Levi Lee. 

Sheriff — Joseph C. Lander. 

Recorder — Jesse C. Kellogg. 

Surveyor — Eli Barnes. 

Treasurer — Lysander Darling. 

They were an excellent and able body of officers ; probably 


none more intelligent or better adapted to their work, have 
since filled those offices. 

Rufus Colton was an active, stirring, shrewd New Englander, 
formerly editor of a Vermont paper — a warm friend — a fair, 
uncompromising enemy. R. Sterrctt ofSomonaukwas of Penn. 
origin, always a decided Democrat — an honest, reliable, true 
man. Levi Lee of Kingston, was a shrewd, intelligent man, 
active in the temperance cause. He filled many public offices, 
and was of late, a member of the Legislature of Wisconsin. 
Jesse C. Kellogg, the Recorder, was of Vermont puritan stock, 
has been for thirty three years, and still is one of the worthiest 
citizens of DeKalb County, active in every good work, the 
uncompromising foe of all wrong and oppression. Captain 
Barnes, for over thirty years a venerated citizen of this County, 
died in 1867, leaving a large family of descendants here. 
Sheriff Lander, an honest, pleasant old Indianian, had 
all of the peculiarities of speech and dialect of the Iloosicr 
race. Lysander Darling was a pleasant, kind-hearted, honest 
popular citizen, said to be the first settler in Sycamore. 

On Tuesday, the 11th of July, 1837, the first regular 
session of the County Commissioners' Court for DeKalb 
County was held at the hou^e of Rufus Colton. The selection 
of a place of holding Courts before the county seat was fixed 
and buildings erected, was left to the decision of the County 
Commissioners : and they concluded that no more convenient 
place could be found than the spacious and comfortable log 
house belonging to the head of the Board of Commissioners. 
It was a substantial structure, eighteen feet by twenty-four, 
made of hewn logs, famished with doors and a window, 
chinked up with none of your common mud, but with good 
lime mortar. Altogether, it was a spacious and superior 
building for those times. But liberal as were the accommo- 
dations, they were yet rather too limited for the convenient 
transaction of public business, in addition to the ordinary 
routine of the housekeeper's duties. So as the day was fair 
and warm, a table was placed out of doors on the shady side 


of the house, at which the Commissioners being seated, the 
Sheriff made proclamation in good Hoosier style, of the opening 
of the Court, and they proceeded to business. This Commis- 
sioners' Court was not intended for the trial of suits. Its 
duties embraced those which are now accomplished by the 
Board of Supervisors. The County had been ransacked to 
find a suitable book for Record, but at last Mr. Clerk had 
procured an old merchant's ledger, a little used, and in it the 
first recorded transactions were minuted. The first formal 
action of the Board was to select and appoint Jesse C. Kellogg 
as Clerk of their Court, and the next was the important 
business of laying out five election precincts, and justices' 
districts. They were : 

First, Kingston district and precinct, commencing at the 
northwest corner of the County running south twelve miles, 
thence northeast crossing the Sycamore river so as to include 
Benjamin Stephens' land, and then north to the County line. 
It was ordered that elections be held in this precinct at the 
residence of Levi Lee. George II. Hill, John Whitney 
and Jonas II ait were appointed its judges. 

The second was Sycamore precinct, including the northeast 
corner of the County, and extending as far south as. Charter 
Grove, but not including the present village of Sycamore. 
The elections were to be held at a school house near Lysander 
Darling's, and William A. Miller, James A. Armstrong and 
Samuel Cory were made its judges. 

The third was named Orange district, and comprised the 
territory south of the Sycamore district as far as Lost Grove, 
in the present town of Cortland. Elections for this district 
were ordered at Rufus Colton's house, and Frederic Love, 
James Root, and Eli Barnes were made its judges. 

The fourth was named Somonauk district, and comprised 
the territory south of Orange district, ten miles in width, and 
about twenty in length to the south line of the County. 
Elections were ordered to be held at the house of Woodruff 
and Lane ; William Davis, Frederic A. Witherspoon, and 
Simon Price were made judges. 


The fifth district was called Paw Paw, and comprised the 
southwest portion of the County. No recorded provision was 
made for elections in this district, and it was subsequently 
abolished, but afterwards upon the indignant protest of some 
of its people, was re-established. 

In October, the Commissioners appointed by the Legislature 
to fix the County seat, met at the house of Mr. Frederic Love 
as directed by the law of organization. They were received 
by the citizens representing the three competing points with 
all of that cordiality that was to be expected toward men upon 
whose decision important interests depended. Escorted by a 
large number of residents of the County, and men who were 
interested in the decision of the question, they spent most of 
three days in riding about the region, viewing the country and 
comparing the advantages of the rival locations. There seemed 
to be little to choose between them. One of the Commission- 
ers, Mr. Walker of Plainfield had been a member of the Leg- 
islature with Mr. Madden. He was also an intimate friend 
of Mr. Harvey Maxfield, who had recently visited this section 
of country and came back with a glowing account of its 
attractions, and of the advantages of the present location for 
a county seat. He had also reported to Walker a remark 
said to have been made by Madden to the effect that he had 
secured Walker's appointment as Commissioner, and expected 
to control him so far as to induce him to locate the County 
seat upon his own claim at Brush Point. This naturally 
aroused opposition in the mind of Mr. Walker. 

Much to Madden's chagrin, he found his friend prejudiced 
against his own point, and unable to see its advantages. The 
inhabitants of the little collection of losr houses on the bank 
of the Kishwaukee north of the present County seat where 
the village had been laid out, had become convinced that their 
village was upon ground too low to secure its location as the 
seat of justice, and they combined to assure the Commission- 
ers that the place where they intended the village should be, 
was on the higher ground upon the other side of the stream. 


This being agreed upon, on the third day of their travels and 
explorations, the Commissioners determined upon placing it 
where the Court House now stands, and in the presence of 
quite a crowd of interested observers, they set a long pole 
upon the green prairie, placed on it a streaming flag, and 
declared it to be the location for the County seat of the new 
County of DeKalb. Captain Eli Barnes now advanced, and 
christened the new town by the name of Orange. No objection 
was raised to this, and for some years thereafter, the point 
was called by that name. Some objection had been made to 
the exact spot selected, by parties who thought the land a 
half mile south more favorable. This was admitted, but it 
was decided that this spot was as far out on the broad prairie 
as the center of the town ought to be placed, and here it was put. 

It did indeed seem to be^n the phrase of the country, 
"clear out of sight of land," a lonely, windy, grassy, deso- 
late spot. The inhabitants of the rival locations, disappointed 
at the result, ridiculed and denounced the selection, chiefly 
for this reason. It was argued, however, that the great 
State Road from Yandalia, the Capital of the State, north to 
Lake Superior, passed through this place, that the State Road 
from Chicago to Galena would cross here, and that it would 
consequently be more accessible than the Coltonville and 
Brush Point settlements, which were further to the West. It 
was also held that there was a great deal more timber on the 
eastern side of the county than on the western side ; and as 
of course the settlements must always he near the timbered 
lands, the center of population would be rather at the east 
than at the west. The location was made north of the center 
of the county, partly because it was thought that the south- 
ern end, divided from the north by a broad stretch of bare 
prairie, would ultimately be set off into some other county, to 
be formed at the south of it. 


The county machinery was now fairly set in order, but, to 
complete the dignity of the new county, it was necessary 


that a term of the Circuit Court should be held, for the trial 
of civil and criminal suits ; and at the February term of the 
Commissioners' Court, it was ordered, that, as no court-house 
was yet provided, the first term of the Circuit Court should be 
held at Rufus Colton's residence, and the next term of the 
County Commissioners' Court, should be held at the residence 
of Riley Hall in Sycamore precinct. 

As Jurors for the first term of the Circuit Court, the follow- 
ing list was selected. 


George II. Hill, Nathan Billings, William A. Miller, Ly- 
sander Darling, John Whitney, John Esterbrooks, William 
Miles, Henry Madden, Eli Barnes, Phineas Stevens, Alpheus 
Jenks, Russell D. Crossett, John Maxfield, William Davis, 
Maltby B. Cleveland, D. S. Bullard, Zachariah Wood, Ralph 
Wyman, Benjamin Stephens, Joseph A. Armstrong, Henry 
B. Barber, Reuben Nichols, Justin Crafts. 

C. W. Branch, E. F. White, Abner Jackson, Peter Lamoise, 
Clark Wright, John Elliot, Clark L. Barber, Jos. A. 
McCollum, Russell Huntly, Ora A. Walker, John Corkins, 
Solomon Wells, H. N. Perkins, Jacob Cox, Lyman Judd, 
Henry Durham, F. A. Witherspoon, John Sebree, Marshall 
Stark, Jeremiah Burleigh, John Riddle, William Russell, 
Watson Y. Pomeroy, Ezra Hanson. 

As the coming Circuit Court was expected to cause an 
unusual demand for stationery, the Clerk of the County Com- 
missioners' Court was authorized to purchase two dollars' 
worth, and in addition was voted the sum of ten dollars to pay 
for a book of record. 

Three tavern licenses were granted this year — one to 
Russell Huntly, at what is now the village of DeKalb, one to 
John Esterbrooks at Squaw Grove, and one to IT. N. Perkins 
at the present village of Genoa, and to guard against extortion 
the Board enacted " that the rates for the government of 
tavern-keepers for the ensuing year be as follows viz : For 


each meal of victuals, thirty-one cents, for lodging each person 
twelve-and-a-half cents ; for each horse to hay over night, 
twelve-and-a-half cents ; for each bushel of oats, seventy-five 
cents." These were great prices in those days, and were more 
than were usually charged. Two years later, the price of a 
good dinner at a first-class hotel in DeKalb County, was 
twelve-and-a-half cents, and a man was boarded for a week, 
for one dollar. 

The total County tax levied on the first year of its existence 
as a County, was $216,50, but Mr. James Phillips, the deputy 
Sheriff who was also Collector, reported that after a hard 
winter's work in collecting, he had been able to get together 
and pay into the Treasury only $84,87. 

There was a new election of County Commissioners in 
August, and by a change in the law, three new Commission- 
ers were elected, instead of one as had hitherto been provided. 
E. G. Jewell, Burrage Hough, and Henry Hicks were elected. 
They were warmly in favor of the County seat then located, 
and issued an order that the October term of the Circuit 
Court be held at a house now being erected by Eli Barnes, 
at or near the seat of Justice of this County. But it was not 
held there. The house as yet, existed only in imagination. 
There was no sign of civilization, except a fence enclosing a 
field nearly two miles long and sixty rods wide, built this year 
by C. Sharer A: Co., the New York Company, who claimed 
this location. Mr. Colton who had been appointed Clerk of 
the Circuit Court, had made all processes returnable at his 
own residence. He hoped that before any suitable County 
buildings should be erected at this point he would obtain a 
vote to change its location to his own place. In addition to 
the other attractions of his own village, a lawyer, one John 
M. Crothers, had taken up his abode there, and opened an 
office in a corner of one of the three or four houses that con- 
stituted the village called Coltonville. "With a store, a tavern, 
a blacksmith's shop, a doctor, a lawyer, and a distillery in 


expectation, Coltonville was indeed a prominent and promising 

Another meeting of the Commissioners was held in Septem- 
ber, at which they proceeded to consider the expediency of 
erecting a Court House and Jail at the seat of justice, but no 
definite plan was devised. 

They were engaged in negotiating with Captain Eli Barnes 
for the erection of buildings, but it was evident that no 
provision could be made for the coming term of Court, and it 
was accordingly by general consent, held at Coltonville. 
About this time, a new disturbing element had been intro- 
duced into the affairs of the new County. 

Madden and Colton both being sorely vexed at being over- 
ruled in their choice of a County seat, had put their heads to- 
gether to procure a removal by combining against Orange the two 
parties who favored Brush Point and Coltonville : and they 
managed it in this wise. Mr. Madden, who was still a mem- 
ber of the Legislature, had during the last winter's session, 
procured the passage of an act providing that a vote should 
be taken first for or against the removal of the County seat 
from Orange. It was presumed that the two parties favoring 
Brush Point and Coltonville would combine and could carry 
this measure, for removal, in that case a second vote was 
to be taken upon Coltonville or Brush Point, and the place 
receiving the highest number of votes was to be the County 

Madden returned, and made no public mention of the 
passage of this act, but it was strongly suspected by the 
Orange men, that something of this kind had been done, and 
was to be "put through on the sly." It was finally discov- 
ered in this way. A certain bachelor of Genoa, Gleason by 
name, who was attached to the Orange party, invaded the 
Brush Point settlement one Sunday night, in search of a wife. 
From his fair Dulcinea, he learned to his surprise, that on 
the next Monday week, an election was to be held in that 
settlement to remove the County scat. Gleason informed his 


friends of what be had learned, and it was agreed that the 
Orange men should meet them at the polls and vote the 
removal project down. J. C. Kellogg and E. G. Jewell were 
dispatched South in the night, to rouse their friends in Som- 

In due time the polls were opened, and to the surprise of 
the Brush Pointers, were opened in those precincts opposed 
to the change, as well as those which favored it. The unfair- 
ness of the secret conspiracy was so apparent that in Somon- 
auk precinct, which then included six townships, forty-five of 
the forty-seven votes cast were against removal. The project 
was voted down by seventeen majority, in the whole County. 

Coltonville had grown since the summer before when the 
first term of the County Commissioners Court was held there. 
There were four or five houses there now, but how the crowd 
of people that assembled on this memorable occasion was pro- 
vided for must ever be a mystery to future generations. The 
first term of the Court was held in a small framed house one 
story and a half in height, which, a few years after, was 
moved down to Sycamore, and is now the residence of Dr. 
W. W. Bryant and standing nearly opposite the Universalist 
Church. Hon. John Pearson, the Judge, resided in Danville, 
Vermillion County, and the extent of his circuit may be 
judged from this fact. He was subsequently removed for 
incompetency. Rufus Colton was the clerk, and Amasa 
Huntington States Attorney. There were but twenty suits 
upon the docket, none of them sharply contested cases. The 
first suit was one in which Erasmus D. Walrod was plaintiff 
and Stephen Harwood was defendant, but before the trial 
commenced it was settled by agreement of parties — a good, 
first example which has not since been followed so closely as 
would have been to the advantage of the County. 

The duty of the twenty-four Grand Jurors and the States 

Attorney, were ended when they had found an indictment 

against one William Taylor for passing counterfeit money. 

Taylor was supposed to be one of an organized gang that 



even at this early day was infesting the country, and swind- 
ling the honest citizens. Not being ready for trial, he was 
retained in charge of the County until the next term. After 
being comfortably boarded for several weeks by the Barber 
family the County Commissioners ordered him to the Will 
County jail, at Joliet, which was then the nearest available 
place of confinement ; and out of the scantily furnished 
treasury of the County they paid $45 to a guard for convey- 
ing him there. When he was next brought out for trial he 
escaped from the guard and was seen no more in this section 
of country ; and when in addition to this misfortune, the Will 
County jailor sent in a bill for $25 for his board, it bank- 
rupted the Treasury ; the commissioners indignantly refused 
to allow it and demanded the items. After this dear experi- 
ence in the capture of criminals it became the policy to over- 
look all crimes that were not too public and heinous, and 
when an offence had been committed that could not be over- 
looked, the County officers sometimes contrived that a hint 
should be given to the offender that he would probably be 
arrested, and that it would be expedient for him to leave the 
country before that event should occur. In this way they 
rid themselves of the elephant. In December of this year, a 
meeting of County Commissioners provided for ascertaining 
upon what section of land the County seat had been placed. 
The County had not yet been surveyed by the United States. 
Nobody knew where the boundaries of the County were, nor 
were any other lines definitely ascertained. It was necessary 
that the County should first make its pre-emption claim to the 
quarter-section that the law required it should own, as private 
individuals made their claims, and then should survey and sell 
the village lots : out of the proceeds of which sale the public 
buildings were to be erected, guarantying of course to the 
purchasers, that when the land came in market the County 
would purchase and pay for it. 

For this purpose the Commissioners duly authorized and 
directed Mr. Eli G. Jewell to obtain the services of a surveyor 

Eighteen thirty-eight 1 . 379 

and bring a line or lines from some survey made under the 
authority of the General Government down to the County 
seat, and there cause a number of town lots not exceeding 
eighty, to be laid out, platted and recorded ; the expense of 
which survey it was prudently provided should be paid out of 
the proceeds of the sale of the lots. At this term the rate of 
compensation to jurors was fixed at seventy-five cents per day, 
but as this rate was found to cause a heavy drain upon the 
Treasury, it was subsequently reduced to fifty cents. 

Frederick Love was appointed first School Commissioner 
for the County, and was also granted a license to keep tavern. 
Love's capacious cabin was as public a place as any in the 
County. He called it Centerville, and hoped that at some 
time it would become the County seat. Henry Durham of 
Genoa, was granted a merchant's license at this term of the 
Court. A few years later, the village at that point had become 
the largest and most lively in the County. In September 
1838, Shabbona, the old Indian, employed Mr. James S. 
Waterman to survey the two sections of land which the Gov- 
ernment had granted him in that section of country. During 
this year a company under the name of Jenks & Co., 
representing cqnsiderable capital, constructed a mill upon the 
Kishwaukee, in the present town of DeKalb on the land now 
occupied by Mr. Albert Schryvers farm, and projected a 
village which however, was never built up. The large barn 
now standing upon that farm was one of the first framed 
buildings in the County, and was used on several occasions 
for the religious services of the quarterly-meetings of the 

Since the departure of the Indians, game had rapidly 
increased in this district of country. Deer became very 
numerous. Mr. R. F. Watson, who was one of the first 
inhabitants of the northern portion of the County, states that 
during this winter he, hunting in company with Solomon 
Wells and William Driscoll, killed more than one hundred 
of these animals, and at times had counted one hundred and 


twenty-five in one drove. They ran them down with grey 
hounds. The deer, fleet as they were, were no match for the 
hounds, who would often catch them by the throat before they 
had run a quarter of a mile. But the hounds frightened the 
deer from the country, and for many years subsequently 

thev became very scarce. 


The year 1839 was memorable as one of great suffering 
among the new settlers, from sickness. During the spring 
and autumn months, over most of the County, there were 
hardly enough of the well to take proper care of the sick. 
Ague and billious fevers were the prevailing diseases. They 
resulted from the close proximity to the groves and streams 
to which the new comers all built their houses, and were aided 
by the insufficient and comfortless little dwellings; also by" 
the bad surface water from the sloughs which they used in 
the want of wells of proper depth to supply pure water. It 
was difficult also, to secure medical attendance, and the phy- 
sicians who practiced through the country, rarely had a 
sufficient supply of medicine. A citizen relates his disap- 
pointment when after having gone shaking with ague seven 
miles on foot to a doctors for a dose of quinine, the doctor 
told him solemnly, " No young man, I cant't let you have it : 
you are young, and can wear out the disease. I must save 
my little supply for cases in which it is needed to save life, 
for I don't know when I shall be able to obtain any more." 

Deaths were numerous, and the few carpenters in the 
country who were able to work, were at times busy night 
and day in making coffins. It was noticed that one settle- 
ment on the borders of the County, in Franklin, afterwards 
known as the Pennsylvania Settlement, was quite free from 
the prevalent diseases. The three or four houses that com- 
posed this little village, were built by Dr. Hobart, Albert 
Fields, and William Ramsey, two miles from the timbered 
lands and in the middle of the prairie. To this was due their 
exemption from disease. 


But the citizens in the vicinity of the County seat found 
time to build a new Court House. The survey lines ordered 
by the County Commissioners, had been brought down from 
the neighborhood of Rockford, where some Government 
surveying had already been done, and the village of Sycamore 
was staked out. The inhabitants of this place for all future 
time, may thank Captain Eli Birnes and James S. Waterman 
for the broad streets that now add so much to the beauty of 
the village. To many of the people, they seemed at the time 
unnecessarily wide, but the sensible plea that there was a 
whole continent of prairie before them, and that when Syca- 
more became a city they would be needed to accommodate its 
business, prevailed, and they were all laid out one hundred 
feet wide. From the time the village was laid out, its original 
name of Orange was dropped, and Sycamore adopted by 
common consent. 

During the previous winter, Captain Barnes had got 
together materials for building a spacious tavern at the new 
County seat, and early in the spring it was erected — the first 
building put up in this village. It is still standing, directly 
east of the Public Square, and has ever since been occupied 
as a Hotel. As an inducement for building it, it was agreed 
that the block on which it stands should be given to the Cap- 
tain, free of cost. The village having been laid out, the 
Commissioners directed Mr. Jewell to proceed to sell lots 
at public auction, and with the proceeds to contract for build- 
ing a Court House and Jail. 

The auction was held, and the bidding was spirited. Some 
fifteen or twenty lots were sold at prices ranging from twenty 
to fifty dollars. Among the purchasers were Frederick Love, 
J. C. Kellogg, James S. Waterman, Harvey Maxfield, Daniel 
Bannister, Almon Robinson, Erastus Barnes, and Timothy 

The proceeds of the sale constituted a little fund out of 
which, some of the materials for the Court House were pur- 
chased. Those most interested in the matter, then took teams 


and drove to all the saw-mills in the country round, 
and begged or bought, or traded for the necessary lumber- 
The labor upon the building was done by voluntary contribu- 
tion. Every one could do something, and all worked with 
a will. 

By the time fixed for the June session of the Circuit Court, 
a two-story building twenty feet by thirty had been enclosed, 
and the County Commissioners, who were hastily summoned 
together, ordered their Clerk of the Court to notify the Judge 
of the Circuit Court that they had erected a Court House at 
the County seat, and that it was ready for occupancy, and 
requested that he direct the Circuit Clerk to keep his office 

Captain Barnes served the order upon the Judge now sitting 
in Court at Coltonville, and the crowd of attendants, augmented 
by a large body of citizens assembled to see what action 
would be taken upon this order, awaited with great interest 
the argument upon the proposition to remove to Sycamore. 
When the Judge decided that the Court must be removed 
thence, a shout of triumph went up from the Sycamore party, 
while the opponents of removal were correspondingly depressed. 
Judge Ford took his record under his arm, States Attorney 
Purple bundled up his papers, the Sheriff", the lawyers, juries 
parties and witnesses followed suit, and led by Captain Barnes, 
on that well-known spotted horse that he rode upon all public 
occasions for more than twenty years later, all took up their 
line of march through the thick woods and across the green 
prairie, to the new seat of empire at Sycamore. The assem- 
blage was entertained at a grand public dinner at the new 
tavern, where all the luxuries that, the country afforded were 
freely provided by the successful party. 

When the Court repaired to the new Court House, it was 
found that the declaration of the Commissioners, that the 
Court House was ready for occupancy, was rather more than 
its condition warranted. It had a frame, a roof, and some 
siding upon it, but there were no doors nor windows, and the 


only floor was some loose boards covering one half of the 
upper story. When the officers of the Court had clambered 
up to the seat of justice in the second story, it found furniture 
somewhat scarce. A tilting table was the Judges desk, and 
a broad, rough board was provided for the Clerks and attor- 
neys' tables — ct praeterea nihil. Itwas a rough and primitive 
arrangement for the entertainment of the blind goddess, and 
if she had had her eyes about here she would have fled from 
the spot in alarm. A question arose whether process having 
been made returnable at Coltonville, suits could be tried at 
another locality, and except a few agreed cases, no litigation 
was carried on. William Taylor, the only criminal, having 
fortunately run away, and the arrest of all others being care- 
fully avoided, there was no use for a Grand Jury, and it had 
been at once dismissed, and the Court speedily adjourned. 

The Commissioners' Court at the June session, divided the 
County into three Assessment districts. 

The districts of Franklin, Kingston, and Kishwaukee con- 
stituted the first, and of this II. F. Page was chosen Assessor. 
Sycamore, Orange, and Ohio districts made the second, and of 
this, Austin Hayden was Assessor. Somonauk and Pawpaw 
made the third, and of this Stephen Arnold was Assessor. 
The three Assessors were each paid for three days' service in 
assessing the entire property of the County. 

At the August election, Mr. John R. Hamlin was chosen 
Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court, and Lysander 
Darling County Treasurer, in place of George H. Hill. 
William M. Maxfield was chosen County Collector, Alpheus 
Jenks, Recorder. 

In this year, the land in the three Northern townships 
which had previously been surveyed by the United States, 
and put in market. It was a part of what was called the 
Rockford or Polish survey. 

The United States Government, in sympathy with the roles 
who had just been overwhelmed in their contest for their 
independence by the power of Russia, had made a grant of a 


large tract of land on the banks of the Rock Ri\ r er to such of 


that nation as chose to settle upon it. It was accordingly 
surveyed some years earlier than most of this part of the State. 
Very few of that nation however, availed themselves of this 
privilege. Claims had been made on the same land by other 
and earlier settlers. These combined to drive away the new 
claimants. Numerous little stockade forts were built with 
loop holes for muskets, and a dctermintion was expressed to 
drive the Polish emigrants out of the country, and they were 
entirely successful. They never occupied their grant. 

At Coltonville,the large two-story house still standing there 
was built this year for a tavern, and was opened with a grand 
ball in the autumn. To make a sufficient party, the Avhole 
country was summoned. Some twenty of the guests came 
from Oregon, thirty miles west, and as many more from 
St Charles, twenty miles to the east. It was a noted event. 

In the summer of the previous year, a convention was held at 
Ottawa to nominate candidates for the Legislature. Delegates 
went from Orange, now called Sycamore, to see that men 
favorable to their point as the County seat should be nominated, 
and they selected William Stadden for Senator, and J. W. 
Churchill for the Assembly. But they were disappointed in 
their men. At the winter's session, another act was passed; 
authorizing a vote upon the removal of the County seat. 

The Session Laws in these times, were not circulated 'till 
six months after the sitting of the Legislature, and before 
any opponents of removal were aware of the existence of such 
an act, the time had arrived for a vote upon the question. A 
poll-book was opened at Coltonville, a dozen votes or so were 
cast for removal to that place, and the terms of the law were 
considered to be complied with. The seat of justice technically 
was removed. 

But Kellogg, the County Commissioners' Clerk refused to 
deliver the books. He was arrested and tried before Justice 
Harvey Maxfield, and after a savage, wordy warfare, was 



Ltiicago Lilli.riiu|.lnn'i L"o Chicago 


The total receipts and expenditures of the County this year 
amounted to the sum of $452,15 a very moderate amount 
considering that a Court House had been constructed, and 
that, although built from another fund, it naturally increased 
sonic of the County expenses. 


The year 1840 found the County of DeKalb increasing in 
population, if not in wealth. Around all of the groves which 
dotted the prairies like oases in a desert, or like islands in tl e 
blue ocean, little communities of farmers were gathered, full of 
ambition and hope for a prosperous future for this new coun- 
try, but grievously oppressed with poverty in the present. 
They raised bountiful crops of the finest winter wheat and the 
fresh virgin prairie soil produced of all kinds of grain such 
crops as have never since been equalled; but nothing found a 
market. They drew their wheat to Chicago over roads that 
were passable only in a time of drought, and when drawn 
there it was sold at from thirty to forty cents per bushel. He 
was a lucky man who made from his load more than enough 
to pay the expenses of the journey. There was little encour- 
agement for energetic systematic labor. 

Many of the settlers were from the Southern States, a 

pleasant, hospitable generous people, but lacking the energy 

and shrewdness of the New Englanders, and other citizens of 

Northern origin. Mr. James H. Furman, now editor of the 

Sandwich Gazette, who had just moved from the city of New 

York, taught school in a settlement of Virginia and North 

Carolina people at Squaw Grove during this winter. There 

was one framed house in the settlement — Jack Sebrees. All 

others lived in log cabins. One large double log house was a 

favorite resort for all the neighborhood, and there he spent 

most of his time. Huge roaring fires of logs upon the broad 

open fire-places at each, end, could hardly keep the winter 

chill out of the ill-constructed dwellings. At night they slept 

between two feather beds, as was the custom of the Southern 

country. There was no furniture to speak of; most of them 


sat upon the floor or on slab benches, and at meal time went 
out doors from the sitting-room door to the kitchen, where 
bountiful meals were provided, for provisions were abundant. 
The women of this house spun and wove woolen garments for 
the whole family beside doing the household duties and caring 
for a large dairy. They only complained that their husbands 
would not raise flax so that they could have some tow to spin 
when they had nothing else to do. At Franklin, in the North 
part of the County, at Somonauk at the South end, and at 
Paw Paw, were similar settlements of Southern people, but 
most of the new settlers were from New York and New 

The country was over-run with horse-thieves and counter- 
feiters. There being no jails, the labor of confining the pris- 
oners in Sheriffs' houses and such other places as could be 
found for them was so burdensome that few arrests were made, 
and when criminals were imprisoned the great effort was, to 
get them to run away, so as to relieve the County of the 
expense of their keeping. 

The County Treasury was generally empty. County 
orders were issued for all expenses, and they were at a great 
discount, but as they were receivable for taxes, little else could 
be collected and no money went into the Treasury. 

At the County seat, a little village was being built up. It 
now contained twelve houses. The Mansion House kept by 
Captain Barnes, was the great center of population. It was 
crowded with occupants. In one corner was the store kept 
by John and Charles Waterman, who had moved their goods 
from the place north of the river where the town had first been 
started, and where in a little log cabin sixteen feet by eighteen 
they had first established business. The house was over- 
crowded with boarders, mostly young men who had come out 
seeking their fortunes ; many of them have since become 
particularly well known, and prominent in the history of the 
County. Among them were John, James, Robert and Charles 
Waterman, Reuben Ellwood, Dr. H. F. Page, Frank Spencer, 


Jesse Rose, John R. Hamlin, E. P. Young. They were a 
gay set, as full of pranks and fun, and practical jokes, as 
ever a dozen wild fellows could have been. For some reason 
the hotel came to be called the Nunnery, and went by that 
name for many years. It was a most inappropriate title as 
there was nothing more like a nun about it than the one hired 
girl in the kitchen. Indeed, there were but three marriage- 
able women in the place, and when dances and parties were 
made, the country for twenty miles around was scoured in 
search of lady partners. 

The school was kept in the Court House by Dr. Bill, and 
it was well attended. The same building also furnished a 
place for religious meetings, but when Dr. Whitney of Belvi- 
dere came to deliver a great Whig speech, he gathered his 
mass-meeting in Carlos Lattin's log cabin. At the time of 
the election of Harrison and Tyler, there was a grand jollifi- 
cation. The United States Surveyor, who was working 
through the County, furrish free liquor to all the town and 

country round. 

A stage route was established duriug this year, running 
from St. Charles to Oregon. Timothy Wells and Charles 
Waterman were the proprietors of the line. They had an 
elegant four-horse coach, and carried a large number of pas- 

The Circuit Court which met in June, of this year, disposed 

of one hundred cases in five days. Among the lawyers were 

some names that have since become eminent. J. Y. Scammon 

and N. B. Judd came from Chicago. Norman IJ. Purple and 

Judge Peters from Peoria, W. D. Barry and S. S. Jones from 

St. Charles, Chapman and Allen from Ottawa, Nathan Allison 

from Naperville, and Asa Dodge from Aurora. 

The first indictment for selling liquor without a license was 

tried, and resulted in acquittal — a precedent that has since 

been most faithfully followed. 

The County Commissioners' Court in this year, created 

twenty-four road districts for the growing County, and raised 

the license for grocery-keepers to twenty-five dollars. 


School Trustees for the Northern townships seem to have 
been elected at some previous time, for it is recorded that 
Frederick Watkins and Andrew Miles, former trustees of 
Township forty-two, range three, resigned their offices, and 
Daniel Cronkhite was appointed in their places. Trustees of 
school lands were also appointed for Townships thirty-seven 
thirty-eight, and forty-one, in range five. The place of voting 
in Somonauk precinct was changed from the house of R. 
Woodruff, to that of Burrage Hough. 

The grand struggle for the establishment of the County 
seat was finished at the August election of this year, by a 
Waterloo defeat of the opponents of Sycamore. 

The County seat seems to have been technically considered 
to have been removed from Orange or Sycamore, 
by the vote of the dozen or so who had assembled 
and voted that it should be removed to Coltonville, in an 
election held in pursuance of the law, but kept secret from the 
great mass of the people. 

On January 3d, of this year, another act had been passed 
by the Legislature " permanently to locate the seat of justice 
for the County of DeKalb." 

The following report was ordered by the County Commis- 
sioners to be placed upon their records, and explains the 
final result : 

State of Illinois, \ 
DeKalb Co. J SS ' 

I, John R. Hamlin, Clerk of the 
County Commissioners' Court of said County, and Frederic 
Love Probate Justice of the Peace, and Harvey Maxfield, 
Justice of the Peace in and for said County of DeKalb, do 
hereby certify that at an election held in the several precincts 
of said County, on the Third Monday in August, A. D. 1840, 
in pursuance of an act entitled an act permanently to locate 
the seat of Justice of the County of DeKalb approved January 
3d, 1840, there were given two hundred and forty votes in 
favor of the removal of the seat of Justice of DeKalb County 


from Coltonville. There were given one hundred and forty- 
three votes against the removal of the seat of Justice from 
Coltonville ; showing a majority in favor of the removal of 
the seat of justice from Coltonville, of ninety-seven votes. 
And there were also given at said election two hundred and 
seven votes in favor of Sycamore to he the seat of justice of 
DeKalb County. And there were given at said election one 
hundred and thirty-seven votes in favor of Brush Point to he 
the seat of Justice of DeKalb County. Showing a majority 
of seventy votes in favor of Sycamore to be the seat of justice. 
This was the last formal attempt to change the location of 
the County seat, and as it is likely that a local contest of 
this kind brought out all of the voters, it is probable that 
three hundred and eighty-four was about the number of voters 
then in the County. Morris AValrod was at this time, the 
Sheriff of the County, and a very efficient officer he proved 
to be. To induce him to take and keep open the hotel at the 
County seat, he was promised this office of Sheriff. The 
horse-thieves and counterfeiters who infested the County 
found in him a dangerous foe. It was during this spring that 
he arrested one Winthrop Lovelace, who was supposed to be 
one of that gang. He was bound over for trial, but it was sev- 
eral weeks before his trial could be held. Walrod kept him 
securely ironed, and by day chained to a bed-post in a little 
back room of his tavern. At night he was secured by irons, 
to constable Alvah Cartwright, who slept by his side. One 
night Cartwright attended a grand ball at Coltonville, and 
coming home fatigued, slept unusually soundly. When he 
awoke his prisoner was gone. A well-known citizen, and a 
suspected associate of the gang had supplied him with a file, 
with which he had cut his bracelets and escaped. But as he 
fled northward across the mill-dam, daylight had come and he 
was discovered. A party was soon got out to surround and 
search the Norwegian Grove, and the hunt was kept up all 
day as it was certain that he could not have escaped from it, 
but the search was without success until toward evening a 


place was discovered where the tall grass of the mill-pond had 
been parted. The trail was followed, and the poor shivering 
wretch finally discovered sitting nearly chilled to death, in the 
cold shallow pond. It took some hours of smart rubbing to 
save his life. When he was finally brought to trial, he 
escaped from the Court House, probably amid a crowd of his 
fellows of the banditti, and was seen no more in this County. 

For many years, it was the custom for the Sheriff to keep 
his prisoners manacled, but to board them at the same table 
with his other guests at the hotel. They came shuffling in at 
the first table, usually took the head and did the honors to 
travellers and other guests, in their best style. It sometimes 
astonished strangers, but was considered all right by the 
regular boarders. 

John Riddle, one of the first settlers of Franklin, was this 
year appointed Assessor of District No. 1, F. Love of District 
No. "2, and Stephen Arnold of District No. 3. It took them 
six days each to assess the County, and as the result, a tax of 
three hundred and thirty-four dollars and seventy cents was 

Amos Story was Collector for the County - 


The first resident lawyer in the County was admitted to 
practice during this year, the County Commissioners Court 
certifying that he was a man of good moral character. His 
name was Andrew J. Brown. lie settled in Sycamore, but 
the most of the practice at the bar at this time, was monopo- 
lized by W. D. Barry, A. N. Dodge, B. F. Fridley, and 
Crothers Champlain. 

Sylvanus Holcomb was elected County Commissioner, the 
other two members of that Board being Martin M. Mack and 
David Merritt. 

The great State Road from. Ottawa to Beloit, was laid out 
this summer. It was made eighty feet in width. It is de- 
scribed as entering the County at Somonauk, passing Sebra's, 
Esterbrooks, and Lost Grove, to the south-east corner of the 


Public Square, thence to H. Durham's, to Deer Creek, and 
north to the County line. 

The winter of 1841-42, was one of uncommon severity. 
A heavy coating of snow fell on the 8th of November, and it 
remained on the ground until April 14th, during all which 
time, with the exception of the usual January thaw, the 
sleighing was excellent. For a winter of such unusual length 
and severity, no sufficient provision had been made. Forage 
for the stock became very scarce, and hundreds died of starv- 
ation. Hay sold at twenty dollars per ton. The snow be- 
came crusted over, and the deer entrapped in it could be 
slaughtered with axes and clubs. They would "yard" 
Together in large numbers in the woods, where they lived on 
the bark of trees. If driven out into the crusted snow, they 
could make no progress, and were easily killed. Five hun- 
dred of these animals are said to have been killed this winter 
in the northern part of this County, and in the woods of 
Boone County. 


The terrible winter ended in the middle of April, and the 
spring bright, balmy and beautiful, opened at once. The 
crops were all sown in good season, and produced abundantly. 
In this year for the first time, the bright steel scouring 
ploughs came into use, and proved one of the most important 
improvements ever invented for the prairie farmer. Previous 
to this, the soil had in the expressive phrase of the country, 
been "buggered over" with the old cast-iron plows, or some 
strange-looking contrivances of iron rods with a plough-share 
— tools that would not scour, that must be cleaned every few 
rods, and that were quite ineffective for the work required of 
them. Nothing but the extraordinary fertility of the fresh 
prairie soil enabled the settlers to raise any crops with such 

During this year we find E. L. Mayo was certified to be a 
man of good moral character, and admitted to practice at law. 


lie has been ever since a leading lawyer, and has held many 
public offices. 

Under date of March 11th, 1842, is the following official 
record : 

" This day in pursuance of an act entitled an act perma- 
nently to locate the seat of Justice of the County of DeKalb, 
approved January 80th, 1840, the Commissioners of said 
County have selected one hundred and sixty acres of land for 
County purposes, bounded as follows to-wit : From a point 
which bears N 54J° W. 10 R. 21 Links from the S. W. cor- 
ner of M. Walrod's dwelling house and S. 70° East 4 R. 22 
Links from the S. E. corner of Carlos Lattin's house, running 
thence X. 9° E. 80 R. thence S. Si- E. 1C0 R: thence S. 
9° W. 160 R. thence X. 81° W. 160 R. thence N. 9° E. 80 
R. to the place of beginning, containing 160 acres. 

J. S. Waterman, Surveyor. 

Lysander Darling as Treasurer of DeKalb County, pre- 
sented the following account which is interesting as showing 
the amount of taxes then collected : 

Amount of taxes of 1839, $249,82. 

1840, 282,98. 

1841, 328,31. 
Fines delivered by Clerk, 53,16. 
Docket fees delivered by Clerk, 61,50. 

These amounts are small as compared with the present 
revenues of the county, and smaller yet when it is remem- 
bered that they were all collected in County orders and 
Jurors certificates, which could hardly be sold for fifty cents 
on the dollar. 

This was the time of very deepest depression in the finan- 
cial condition of the State as well as of the county. The 
failure of the State Bank, which occurred in February, had 
overwhelmed the people with destitution and ruin. When 
Governor Ford entered upon the duties of his office during 
this year, he stated formally that in his opinion there was 
not enough good money in the hands of all the people in the 


State to pay the interest which then came due upon the State 
debt. The public officers found it difficult to get enough 
money from the Treasury to pay their salaries and the postage 
on their letters. The State failing to pay the interest on its 
debt became the subject of most bitter aspersion and reproach 
through all of this country, and even in England where some 
of its bonds were held. It was taunted as a Repudiator, and 
indeed a considerable party in favor of repudiation was grow- 
ing up in the State. Its name became a hissing and a bye- 
word in distant lands. Illinoisans travelling in eastern States 
or foreign countries were ashamed to acknowledge the State 
that they came from. 

Mr. John R. Hamlin who held the offices of Clerk of the 
County Commissioners' Court, Recorder, and Postmaster and 
out of the whole of them managed to make only about enough 
to pay his board — cheap as boarding was — at the June term 
of the County Commissioners' Court of this year, was granted 
the privilege of advancing twelve dollars to purchase a Book 
for Records, with the promise that it should be paid for out 
of the first money received into the Treasury, Mr. Hamlin 
always a gentleman of genial, kindly, temper, an universal 
favorite, subsequently became a wealthy merchant of Chicago, 
and still later removed again to this County where he became 
an extensive land-owner, but it is reported that about this 
time, he was accustomed to travel through the County to 
collect deeds for record and urge upon those who had deeds 
the necessity of having them placed upon record, and it is said 
that for convenience and economy, he often went bare-footed. 
But current rumors are not always true. Certain it is that 
all of these offices at that time were not enough to give one 
man a living. A dozen years later, the Recorders' office alone 
constantly employed four or five men, and was reported to be 
worth eight thousand dollars a year to the fortunate holder. 
Such facts, better than any array of figures, give an idea of 
the remarkable growth and increase in the population and 
business of the County. 


The elections, at this period in the history of the County, 
were generally held at the residence of some citizen centrally 
located in the precinct, and right glad was he, after a year or 
two of experience of the annoyance and trouble of such gath- 
erings to procure the removal of the place of election to some 
other location. The place of election in Orange precinct, was 
at this term, changed from the residence of W. A. Fairbanks 
to Calvin Colton's spacious and comfortable hotel ; and in 
Franklin precinct it was changed from the mill of Henry 
Hicks to the residence of Theophilus Watkins. 

Martin M. Mack was re-elected County Commissioner at 
the August election of this year, and D. W. Lamb was made 
County Surveyor, an office which he held Avith occasional 
intervals during the next twenty-two years. 

The chief matters of record of the County Commissioners' 
Court still continued to be the location of new roads ; but 
about this time their breadth, which had hitherto been only 
fifty feet, was enlarged to sixty-six, and in some cases to 
eighty feet. The Oregon State Road was laid out one hun- 
dred feet in width. The Circuit Court this year held but one 
session, and that in September. It was presided over by John 
D. Caton, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court. S. B. 
Farwell was States' Attorney, J. C. Kellogg, Clerk, and 
Morris Walrod Sheriff. Among the leading practitioners at 
its bar were T. Lyle Dickey, E. L. Mayo, B. F. Fridley, W. 
D. Barry, N. II. Peters, W. R. Crothers, and A. J. Brown. 

The finances of the County were now in a situation of great 
embarrassment. A report of a committee appointed to make 
a careful examination of its affairs, reported that it had issued 
orders which were still outstanding, to the amount of nine 
hundred and seventy-two dollars and thirty-seven cents, and 
the taxes to be collected to pay them would only amount to 
four hundred and eighty-three dollars, and twenty-nine cents, 
leaving the County in debt to the amount of four hundred and 
eighty-nine dollars and eight cents. Small as this amount 


seems now, it was a troublesome load for the young County 
to carry, and M. M. Mack and Sylvanus Holcomb were au- 
thorized to endeavor to effect a loan. Fov this purpose they 
made several journeys, but to no avail. So large an amount 
of capital could not be obtained. But the County was gen- 
erous enough to allow them fifteen dollars each for their 
expenses, and in place of putting them off with County orders 
which were of little value, it allowed them to endorse the 
amount upon their indebtedness to the County for the lots 
that they had purchased on the town plot. 
A tax of one-half of one per cent, was ordered for the ensuing 
year, but the duties of Mr. John Waterman the County 
Treasurer, must have been small and the danger of robbery 
still less, for nearly all of the tax was collected in Jurors' cer- 
tificates and County orders. 

The land in the central towns of the County came in market 
during this year. This was an important era in the affairs of 
the settlers. Many had for years previous been hoarding the 
money that they had been able to save, in anticipation of this 
important event. From the old stockings and secret recesses 
of their log cabins, the glittering gold was drawn out and they 
started in a strong company for the land sale in Chicago. The 
land was sold off" at auction, and from each neighborhood one 
trusty man was selected to bid off* the property as it was 
offered, while the remainder stood around, armed with clubs 
and a most ferocious aspect, ready to knock down and execute 
summary vengeance upon any speculator who should dare to 
bid for lands that had been claimed and occupied by any of 
their party. Few were bold enough to attempt it. One 
unlucky fellow, who committed this offense through mistake, 
thinking that he was bidding upon another piece of land, was 
seized in an instant by the crowd of excited squatter-sover- 
eigns, hustled away and nearly torn in pieces, before he could 
explain the occurrence and express his readiness to correct 
the mistake. 

But the settlers on this occasion suffered more by the dep- 


redations of pick-pockets than from anything else. Such a 
crowd furnished a harvest-field for these gentry, and several 
of our citizens who had come with pockets well lined with 
gold, found them emptied when they wanted to pay for their 
land and were obliged to go home moneyless and landless. It 
was a severe loss. Years of labor would be required to re- 
place it, and before that time they would lose their land and 
the improvements which they had spent years in effecting. 
Simultaneously with the land sale, a number of new claim 
associations were formed throughout the County, to prevent 
persons who moved in, from purchasing of Government, lands 
which those then living near, chose to claim by plowing around 
them. They were no doubt useful in "preventing many from 
entering farms, to which the expense of improvement and long 
occupation gave the squatter an equitable title, but they were 
also in many cases a means of injustice. Men banded them- 
selves together in such organizations, in order to keep by the 
force of mob law, other settlers from occupying and holding 
lands, while they themselves held tracts of enormous extent 
and paid for none of it. 

The County now found itself in a fresh quandary. The 
one hundred and sixty acres, upon which the village at the 
County seat had been built, now came in market and was 
subject to entry. It had pre-empted the quarter-section, 
but had never proved up its pre-emption right. It had sol- 
emnly bound itself, in giving deeds of its lots, to acquire the 
title so soon as the land should come in market, but now that 
this time had come, it found itself destitute of money and 
utterly unable to borrow. Any speculator was at liberty to 
buy and take the best of titles to the town by paying to the 
Government one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre for it. 
Few of the citizens had money enough to enter their ow T r 
claims, and none were willing to lend money to the County. 
In this dilemma three of the neighboring inhabitants, Jesse 
C. Kellogg, Carlos Lattin, and Curtis Smith who had an 
interest in adjoining lands came forward and furnished the 


necessary funds, entered the lands in their own names and 
promised to wait for re-payment until the time in which it was 
supposed the County would bo able to return the money. 
This lifted the County out of this temporary embarrassment, 
but it subsequently happened that the County failed to get 
back the title from some of these parties, and finally lost a 
part of the land. 

The whole amount of tax collected this year was three 
hundred and eighty-six dollars and fifteen cents, and of this 
one hundred and seventy-eight dollars was paid in Jurors' 
certificates and one hundred and forty-nine in County orders. 

The County during this year, commenced a suit with Amos 
Harman, whom it required to open the Ottawa State Road, 
and was defeated. It was compelled by the Circuit Court, 
to allow him thirty-five dollars for damages- This bankrupted 
the Treasury, and nine patriotic citizens stepped forward and 
contributed the amount, taking County orders in payment. 
The Justices elected this year were George IT. Hill, Isaac 
Crampton, Abner Jackman, James Byers, Aaron Randal], 
Kimball Dow, George Flinn, Russell Huntley, and Z. B. 

Reuben Pritchard, J. R. Hamlin, and B. F. Hunt, Com- 
missioners appointed-by the State, laid out the Chicago and 
Grand-de-Tour State Road, past II. Dayton's, P. Holcomb's, 
M. Walrod's, Phineas Stevens', Calvin Colton's and thence to 
the west line of the County. Robert Sterrett built a mill 
this year on Somonauk creek, and E. P. Gleason and W. A. 
Miller built others at or near the present village of Genoa. 
This village was at this time and for many years after, the lar- 
gest and most lively in the County. There were several stores, 
a line of stages running through from Chicago to Galena, and 
II. N. Perkins this year built a fine large hotel which has 

been a famous resort for balls and parties even to this day. 
A handsome framed school-house also replaced the shabby old 
log structure heretofore used for that purpose. 



This was the second since the settlement of the County, of 
the regular septennial wet seasons. The floods began early 
in summer, but not early enough to ruin the splendid crops of 
winter wheat which were everywhere abundant. Some farmers 
report that they cut and bound their wheat while standing 
ankle-deep in water, and then carried it out on the high knolls 
to dry before stacking. When they went to Aurora to mill, 
four yoke of cattle were required to draw a moderate grist. 
A great many cattle and horses feeding upon the prairies 
became mired inextricably, and the calls were numerous for 
teams to attach long ropes or chains to them and draw them 
out. Most of the crops were seriously damaged by the floods 
and storms. All of the bridges that surrounded the County 
seat were carried away by the flood, and the same was true of 
the bridges all over the country. The Mississippi was swollen 
to four times its usual size, and steamboats moved freely 
through the streets of St. Louis, Kaskaskia, and other cities 
upon the rivers. Houses, fences, and stock of all kinds were 
swept away, and when the water subsided, the soil of the 
valleys was covered with sand so as to ruin the land for cul- 
tivation. The grist mills were almost universally swept away, 
and there was a great destitution of meal and flour. It was 
a severe blow to the prosperity of the young, growing State. 
One good growing out of this evil was that the war with the 
Mormons which was then in active progress, was stopped — 
neither party being able to continue it through such endless 
storms, and seas of unfathomable mire. 

At the August election, Carlos Lattin was chosen County 
Treasurer ; Marshall Stark, School Commissioner ; E. L. 
Mayo, Recorder; A. J. Brown, Probate Justice, and Morris 
Walrod Collector for the County. E. P. Young resigned his 
office of Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court, and W. 
H. Beavers was appointed in his stead. 

The land having now become the property of the occupants 
was subjected to a tax, and the Assessor was paid for half his 


expenses by the State. But County indebtedness was still 
purchaseable at a large discount. When one of our since 
prominent citizens was fined ten dollars for assault and bat- 
tery, he was glad to be allowed to pay it with a County order 
of thirty dollars. 


The settlement of DeKalb County at this period progressed 
very slowly. Indeed, emigrants avoided the whole State of 
Illinois, and passed west to Missouri, or north to Wisconsin. 
Illinois had a bad reputation. The State was overwhelmed 
with a vast unwieldy debt. It was unable to pay even the 
interest upon it. Taxes were high, money scarce. Repudiation 
was talked of, and by many was thought to be inevitable. 
DeKalb County furnished no especial attractions to the few 
settlers who came into the State. The beautiful valleys of 
the Fox and Hock Rivers were far more alluring to the few 
emigrants who at this period, made their homes in the debt- 
ridden, heavily-taxed, much-abused State of Illinois. Many 
of those who came to make their homes in this section, were 
of a lawless class who were hardly fit for better settled and 
better regulated communities. 

Settlers were also deterred by the acts of the claim associ- 
ations who boldly banded together and threatened the lives of 
any who should enter lands around which any of their gang 
had ploughed the furrow which constituted the commonly 
received marks of a claim. Some account of these contests 
— these intestine wars, may be found in other portions of this 

There was little money in the country. Of the three hun- 
dred and seventy-five dollars collected in taxes this year, one 
hundred and forty-three dollars was in Jurors certificates, and 
two hundred and nineteen dollars in County orders. Few 
debts were prosecuted by law, for the policy of the laws 
favored the debtor, and rendered it almost impossible to col- 
lect a claim by legal process. More settlers were anxious to 
leave the country than to move into it. 



In May, 1846, the President called for four regiments of 
volunteers, for the war with Mexico. Nine regiments speedily 
offered their services. Most of them were of course disap- 
pointed in their hope to serve their country thus and win 
glory upon the battle-field, but among those accepted, was a 
company raised by Captain Shepard of Belvidere, from the 
Counties of Boone and Northern DeKalb. Early in June, 
Captain Shepard marched his Company across the country 
from Belvidere to Sycamore, paraded them through the streets 
of the village during two or three days, and enlisted in the 
ranks about twenty recruits. They were mostly from the 
northern towns or precincts of the County. 

From Shabbona, Somonauk, and Paw Paw districts, a num- 
ber of recruits were enlisted in a regiment that rendezvoused 
at Ottawa. Among them were Thomas S. Terry, and Horace 
Austin, who subsequently raised and commanded Companies 
in the One Hundred and Fifth Regiment, during the war of 
the Great Rebellion. Only a comparatively small number of 
those who thus went out, ever returned. Some lost their 
lives upon the Mexican battle-field, some died of the diseases 
incident to camp life, and some, who had no especial ties to 
bind them to this country, found other homes after their dis- 
charge from the service. 

At the* March term of the County Court, the Paw Paw 
district and election precinct was divided by the creation of a 
new precinct, called Shabbona. It comprised the territory 
now contained in the four towns of Shabbona, Clinton, Milan, 
and Afton. Elections were ordered to be held at the house 
of William Marks. 

A report on the County finances exhibited the discouraging 
fact that there were outstanding twelve hundred and ninety- 
nine dollars in County orders, and but one hundred and 
twenty-six dollars of available means. Five hundred and 
seventy dollars of tax was collected, all of it in Jurors' certi- 
ficates and County orders. 



Austin ffayden, George II. Hill, and Joseph Newberry 
were elected County Commissioners; dames Harrington, 
School Commissioner ; John A. Waterman, Treasurer ; E. L. 

Mayo, Probate Justice. Jacob A. Simons and William Ford- 
ham each served as County Clerk. The Justices of the Peace 
elected, were George Flinn, Isaac Campton, Simon Young, 
Aaron Rand, David Merritt, G. T. Sandborn, Wheeler 
Hedges, Samuel Stevens, B. F. Johnson, Russell Huntley, 
Joseph A. Bilks, Z. B. Mayo, John Bycrs, George II. Hill, 
and William Marks. The first brick dwellings in the County 
were built this year at Sycamore by the brothers Mayo, and 
although they now look humble enough when compared with 
many of the more spacious and elegant residences of the pres- 
ent day, they were then decidedly the best houses in the 
County, and attracted a great deal of attention and admiration. 

The financial affairs of the County improved during tins 
year, and its indebtedness was reduced one half. This was 
in sympathy and accord with the general condition of the 
State which was now rapidly improving. Four years before, 
the State officers were sometimes troubled to get money to 
pay even the postage on their letters ; the credit of the State 
was gone, its Treasury warrants sold at fifty cents on the 
dollar, it was a hissing and a bye-word both in America and 
England. Now, it had paid or satisfactorily provided for, 
about ci^ht millions of its debt, and had been able to borrow 
money enough to finish the Illinois Canal, which was now in a 
fair way to completion. Emigrants came into the County 
more rapidly, but still the settlers were very poor. Good 
wheat sold in Chicago at thirty cents per bushel, and many 
drew it there from near the Mississippi river. Considerable 
amounts were also drawn to Ottawa and Peru, upon the canal. 
A very fair team of horses could be bought for eighty dollars. 
It was a difficult matter to collect taxes. They Avcre all paid 
in specie, and to pay a tax of six or seven dollars, distressed 
the payer more than one of forty times that amount would at 


the present time. The collector would have to call again and 
again for it. The roads were alive with teams loaded with 
grain, and the taverns were crowded every night. Fifty cents 
was the regular charge for supper, lodging, breakfast and the 
feed for a team. At the August election of this year, William 
Young was chosen County Commissioner, and William II. 
Beavers, Clerk of that Court. Sheldon Crossctt, School 
Commissioner ; E. L. Mayo, Probate Justice ; William Ford- 
ham, Recorder ; William Shepardson, Treasurer ; E. P. 
Young, County Collector. 

The first recorded allowances for the care of paupers were 
made during this year. Before that time there cither were 
no paupers or they were otherwise provided for. 


A new Constitution -for the State was formed during this 

The increasing population demanded a division of the 
County into more election precincts and Justices' districts. 
Squaw Grove precinct was formed out of the present town of 
Squaw Grove, and the south half of Pierce. 

Somonauk precinct was changed so as to include Somonauk 
township and four tiers of sections off of Victor. 

The name of Wooster precinct was changed to Genoa, which 
had for twelve years been the name of the thriving village at 
its center. 

For County Commissioners this year, Messrs. William 
Young, John S. Brown, and Arunah Hill were elected. The 
old Court House, a shabby two-story building, now standing 
nearly opposite the present one, was still almost the only 
building in the little village for public use. The County eked 
out its petty finances by letting it for various uses. The 
Conercsfational and Universalist Churches held alternate or 
occasional services there. Mr. Roswell Dow occupied it on 
week days for a select school, and the Sons of Temperance 
held evening meetings, paying twenty-five cents rent each 


But itwas evident that the County demanded a better build- 
ing. The subject was much canvassed and discussed all over 
the County. A large portion of the people of the County 
were unwilling to be taxed for the expense of a suitable 
building. The population at the County seat were willing to 
bear some share of the expense, but not the whole. After a 
great deal of discussion at the March term of the County 
Commissioners' Court in 


The three Commissioners appointed Messrs. E. P. Young, 
Kimball Dow, and J. C. Kellogg, to contract for building a 
new Court House. It was to be placed in the center of the 
public square, to be of brick, sixty feet long and forty feet 
wide, and to cost not exceeding six thousand dollars. But 
this was to be done only upon condition that individual citizens 
should contribute fifteen hundred dollars of this amount. This 
they were authorized to pay in notes; two-thirds of which 
should be paid November 1st, 1849, and one-third November 
1st, 1850. And the order of the Commissioners further states, 
that it is expressly agreed, that in case the County seat shall 
ever be removed, the County shall pay back to said individu- 
als, the amount of said notes with interest. It was ordered 
that the notes be registered on the Court records, ' and be 
evidence of the liability of the County for the re-payinent of 
this advance. 

At the same term another order was passed authorizing the 
erection of a jail by the same agents at a cost not exceeding 
fifteen hundred dollars. Nothing seems to have been done 
under this order. An active canvass of all those who felt an 
especial interest in the prosperity of the village now rapidly 
growing at the scat of justice was now commenced and 
more than the necessary fifteen hundred was subscribed as a 
free gift toward the erection of the present handsome Court 
House. The subscriptions of the principal donors were as 
follows : 

Harvey G. Barns, $100 ; Amos Story $20 ; John Maxfield 


$40 ; Thomas Woolsey $20 ; Kimball Dow $50 ; E. P. Young 
$150; W. II. Beavers, $37; W. J. Hunt $50; Ellsworth 
Rose $25 : E. Hall $25 ; E. II. Barnes $25; Alonzo Brown 
$20 ; O. P. White $25 ; Z. B. Mayo $50 ; E. L. Mayo $50 ; 
John Chatfield $20 ; J. S. & J. C. Waterman $150 ; M. 
Stark $50 ; O. M. Bryan $30; Thomas II. Wood $25; E. 
Wharry $20: E. G. Jewell $20 Darius Williams $25; R. 
Wyman $20 ; William Council $20 ; J. C. Kellogg $25 ; R. 
Hopkins it W. P. Dutton $75 ; Decatur Esterhrook $25 ; A. 
Jac.kman 20: Homer Roberts $20 ; Sylvanus Holcomb $25: 
W. Fordham $30 ; G. W. Kretsinger $20. 

The agents for building were also authorized to sell the old 
Court House, and all town lots owned by the County at mic- 
tion, and that the proceeds were to be applied religiously to the 
payment of tli e forty-five hundred dollars of County orders 
issued for the erection of the new building. The lots were 
however, apprized at prices varying from ten dollars to four 

It was during this year, that the wonderful stories told of 
the discovery of the gold fields of California, began to make 
a stir among the hardy pioneers of this section of country. 
The people were still very poor. Money was scarce — a dollar 
looked to them as large as a cart-wheel. Why should they 
spend their lives in ekeing out a poor and insufficient support 
in the shabby log dwellings and amid the inevitable hardships 
of pioneer life in this new country, when an abundance of the 
yellow, glittering metal that was the representative of all 
wealth, lay open to any one who chose to gather it, upon the 
pleasant shores of the Pacific. They were used to hardship ; 
they were accustomed to pioneer life ; the settlement of a new 
country had no terrors for them. Urged by these considera- 
tions, large numbers of men, among the best of the citizens of 
the County, formed themselves into companies, rigged out 
their old pioneer wagons, and settling their affairs as best they 
could, started on the long and weary march for the golden 
shores of California. Many came back in a few years mate- 


rially enriched, and used their means to fit up their old farms 
with fine buildings and comfortable surroundings. Many 
died on the way, and some still remain in the Golden State, 
and are among her best and most prosperous citizens. 

At the election of this year Marshall Stark was chosen 
Sheriff; W. II. Beavers, County Clerk; William Fordham, 
Recorder ; Sheldon Crossett, School Commissioner and E. L. 
Mayo, Probate Judge. But a new election was held Novem- 
ber Oth, under the provisions of the new Constitution, at 
which M. M. Mack was made Circuit Clerk and Recorder; 
II. B. Prescott, County Clerk ; Win. Shepardson, County 
Treasurer, and James IT. Beveridge and George II. Hill 
County Justices of the Peace. 

Seven hundred and fifty votes were cast in favor of the 
adoption of the Township Organization, and only one against 
it. The County School Superintendent was paid twenty-eight 
dollars for his year's services, and the County Judge received 
seventy-five dollars for the performance of the duties of his 
office for six months. 

The County Commissioners, at the December term, appoint- 
ed Messrs. William A. Miller, William J. Hunt, and Robert 
Sterritt, to divide the County into townships, in preparation 
for a new organization, under the Township Organization 
law. They visited the different sections of the County, heard 
the statements of those citizens who met them, and divided off 
the County into thirteen towns, named as follows : Genoa, 
Kingston, Franklin, Vernon, Liberty, Sycamore, Richland, 
Orange, Shabbona, Clinton, Squaw Grove, Somonauk, and 
PawPaw. Most of these names still adhere to the towns to 
which they were originally given, although most of these towns 
have been diminished in extent by the creation of new town- 
ships Of those names which have been abandoned, Vernon 
belonged to the present town of South Grove ; Orange to 
DeKalb and some adjoining territory ; Liberty to Mayfield ; 
Richland to Cortland and Pierce. The County tax of 184!) 
amounted to two thousand eight hundred and eighty-three 



The County was now divided into Townships, and organized 
with Town governments. Each of the towns chose a Super- 
visor as the head of its town government, and also as its rep- 
resentative upon the County Board, which met for the trans- 
action of the business which had hitherto devolved upon the 
County Commissioners. It is a question, however, among the 
thoughtful men of the County, whether its business under this 
more expensive and more ambitious method of administration, 
is any better managed than under the old Board of three 
County Commissioners, and there are not a few, who still think 
it would be wise to discard the Township organization and go 
back to the old method. 

The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held at 
Sycamore, October 7th, 18.50. The Board consisted of thir- 
teen members, viz : Henry Durham, representing Genoa ; 
John Sheely, Kingston ; Clark Bliss, Franklin ; John S. 
Brown, Vernon ; Mulford Nickcrson, Liberty ; James Har- 
rington, Sycamore; I). F. Finley, Richland; Thomas R. 
Hopkins, Orange; William Marks, Shabbona ; Reuben 
Pritchard, Clinton; Abram L. Ilemenway, Squaw Grove; 
Lyman Bacon, Somonauk ; Pierpont Edwards, Paw Paw. 

James Harrington was chosen Chairman. Among the first 
acts of the Board, was the passage of an order changing the 
names of Orange to DeKalb ; of Richland to Pampas ; of 
Liberty to Mayficld ; and of Vernon to South Grove. 

Other towns inthe State had already appropriated the first 
chosen names, and to prevent confusion, the Board of Super- 
visors were authorized and directed to select others. Having 
accomplished this duty, the Board plunged at once into the 
business of auditing bills, arraigning delinquent collectors, 
appointing places for town meetings, and all of those multifa- 
rious duties that have ever since engrossed the attention of 
that body. 

Work upon the new Court House had been in progress for 
nearly two years and in the winter of 1850, it was completed, 


and presented an appearance of which the people of the 
County were justly proud. 


Ever since the first settlement of the County, the custom 
seems to have prevailed, of inaugurating all new puhlie build- 
ings with a puhlie ball; exceptions only being made with the 
churches; so in accordance with the custom, a grand ball was 
given in the new Court House in February, 1857. It was a 
notable occasion. The company was gathered from all over 
the country, a considerable party coming even from Chicago, 
fifty-five miles distant. The building was not yet however 
entirely completed or partitioned below. That was done dur- 
ing the summer, under direction of the Board of Supervisors. 

The regular seven years ilood and subsequent long wet 
summer, came again this year. There had been no snow 
during the previous winter, but a great amount of rain. On 
the first Sunday in April, one of the most furious snow-storms 
ever known in this country, set in and more than fifteen inches 
fell in the course of the day. On the Sunday following, came 
another similar storm of equal severity. About a month after 
and before the soil had become sufficiently dry for farming 
operations, a heavy rain set in and continued with but occa- 
sional intervals, for more than two months. It is related that 
at one time the sun did not shine through the clouds for ten 
days. The plowed ground became covered with a green 
mould. The wheat crop was all scabbed. Little or none was 
raised that was really fit for flouring, and in some cases it 
sickened and apparently poisoned those who were compelled 
by the prevalent destitution, to use it. 

The roads became impassable and continued so during most 
of the season. It became evident tnat something must be 
done to secure means of communication with the outside world 
and transportation for the products of the country, to market. 
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was now in 
process of construction, and this promised relief to the south- 
ern portion of the County. 


The Galena and Chicago Railroad was also being built, and 
a branch of it was this year extended to St. Charles, which 
was then a very flourishing little city, and the principal mar- 
ket for all the northern part of the County. Uut our people 
were too poor to extend that road to this County, and the 
main road was laid several miles to the north of the County 
line. The project of building a plank-road to St. Charles was 
started. Plank roads were then very popular in the eastern 
States, and during the first year or two of use they furnished 
the smoothest and most agreeable of highways. When more 
worn, they were found to be more a source of danger and dis- 
comfort than of advantage, and their use was abandoned. 
A subscription was started for the construction of a plank 
road from Sycamore to St. Charles. A large amount of 
money was raised, the road was graded, the plank laid down 
and toll-gates established. For about one season the road 
was a decided convenience, but soon the hard wood plank 
became warped by the sun ; the road was as rough as the 
old-fashioned corduroy ; no one used it when they could avoid 
it; the neighboring inhabitants finally confiscated the plank 
and the road was abandoned. 

The Assessors' reports for this year valued the total personal 
property of the County at three hundred and twenty-five 
thousand three hundred and fifty-three dollars, and the real 
estate at seven hundred and sixty-seven thousand four hun- 
dred and eighty-seven dollars. The prospect that the country 
would soon be" made accessible to market by railroads, had 
induced a great many speculators and settlers to purchase the 
wild prairie land. We find that two hundred and ninety-one 
thousand, five hundred and nine acres were assessed this year, 
which would indicate that only about twenty thousand acres 
still remained in the hands of the government. 

The elections of this year were very exciting. The County 
was overwhelmingly Democratic in politics, but there was a 
very strong and active Free-Soil party, and a sturdy and 



Chicago Lithographing Co.("h'icago. 


enterprising minority of Whigs. The office of Circuit Clerk 
and Recorder had with the increase of population, become the 
most valuable office in the County. James II. Bcveridge, a 
merchant at Freeland corners in the town of Somonauk, was 
the nominee of the Free-Soil party for this office, and E. P. 
Young, of the Democracy. By a combination of the Whig 
and Free-Soil vote, Mr. Beveridge was elected, and he held 
the office for the eight years succeeding. Joseph Sixbury 
was chosen County Treasurer, Jacob 11. Crossett, School 
Commissioner, and Herman Furness Sheriff. 

Bills for the care of paupers were paid by the County to 
the amount of six hundred and thirteen dollars. It was dur- 
ing this year that the Chicago, St. Charles and Mississippi 
Air Line R. R. was first projected, to run through St. Cnarlcs, 
Sycamore, South Grove and Oregon to the Mississippi river 
at Savannah. Messrs. Waterman and Fordham, of Sycamore, 
first proposed the matter, and began correspondence with 
E. S. Litchfield, the manager of the Michigan Southern 
Railroad. He warmly favored the project ; a large meeting 
was held at Sycamore; about twenty thousand dollars in stock 
was taken in the northern part of the county ; a company 
was organized ; it seemed certain that a railroad would be 

During this year the first Agricultural Society of the County 
was organized and held an exhibition in marked contrast with 
the extensive collections of the present era. One old white 
bull was chained to a stake in the center of a vacant open lot, 
and two or three stallions with as many cows and colts, and a 
few beets and pumpkins completed the amusing exhibition. 


But the newly proposed railroad promised to be an active rival 
to the Galena road ; and that Company was anxious to pre- 
vent its construction. They procured a charter authorizing 
them to build an air line road to the [Mississippi, passing 
through the central portion of the county to Dixon, and 
thence to the Mississippi river at Fulton and Lyons. Agents 


of this Company visited Sycamore and endeavored to induce 
its people to take stock in it to a sufficient amount to ensure 
its being built through that town. Had the citizens of Syc- 
amore been able to foresee the future they would have con- 
sented to this arrangement, in which event the now flourishing 
villages of Cortland or DeKalb would never have had an 
existence, and Sycamore would probably have become one of 
the largest towns in northern Illinois. But Sycamore was 
full of hope and interest in the rival road and scouted the idea 
that any other Avould be built. This, the St. Charles Road 
was now being graded, and during the summer the work was 
completed for some forty miles. But now, trouble arose. The 
contract had been let to Litchfield at the high rate of twenty- 
four thousand, five hundred dollars per mile. The Board of 
Directors had promised to raise three hundred thousand dollars 
more stock upon the line of the road, payable at the rate of 
five per cent per month, which payments Litchfield was to 
receive on his contract. This was contrary to the advice of 
Directors J. S. Waterman and II. A. Mix, who knew that in 
this poor and thinly settled country, the amount could not be 
raised. Their surmises proved to be correct. The stock was 
never taken, the payments were not forthcoming, and the 
contractor refused to proceed with the work. But in the 
mean time the company had acquired a large amount of valu- 
able real estate in Chicago for depot grounds. 

At a sale of canal lands tbey had purchased all of those 
lots which they needed to secure the right of way, and had 
bought at a very low rate sixty acres additional. This had 
appreciated enormously in value — far more than enough to 
pay for all of the work that had been done upon the Road. 
E. S. Litchfield and Ira Minard of St. Charles, now bought 
up all of the stock which they could purchase at a low rate, 
obtained control of the Company, sold its real estate and 
Charter to the Galena Company, and it was reported? 
made a profit of over four hundred thousand dollars by the 
transaction. The embankments on the line of the road, and 


the piers of the bridges built but never used, only remain as 
mementoes of this project whose failure nearly ruined the 
business of several thriving towns and drained the country of 
a large amount of money. 

Meantime the construction of the Dixon Road was pushed 
forward at a rate that had never before been equalled. The 
charter required that it should be so completed that a train 
could be run through to Dixon by January 1st, 1854, and it 
is certain that before midnight of that day a train was run 
over the road. But such a road ! For many miles of its 
course, no grading whatever was done. The sleepers were 
laid down upon the bare grassy prairie and leveled up with 
stove wood. It had neither station-houses, freight-houses, 
engine-houses, nor any other buildings. It was necessary 
that every thing should be built over from the foundation. 
But the road gave a powerful forward impulse to the country. 
It brought a market for all the abundant produce of this 
fertile country to the doors of its growers. It seems incredi- 
ble now that speculators could not foresee the immense advance 
in the intrinsic value of the lands that was caused by this 
revolution in affairs, but yet large tracts of land which 
could be purchased with land-warrants at seventy-five cents 
per acre still lay open to entry. 

The expense of supporting the paupers which had now run 
up to about six hundred dollars per year, was considered to 
be a heavy burden upon the County, and in the hope of les- 
sening it somewhat, the Board of Supervisors resolved to pur- 
chase a County poor farm upon which some of this class of 
unfortunates could be made useful and contribute to their own 
maintenance. Messrs Tappan and Tindall were authorized 
to contract for such a farm, which was to be located in one of 
the two middle tier of townships, and Mr. Harrington who 
was still Chairman of the Board advertised for a loan of three 
thousand dollars with which to purchase it. In September, 
the farm of A. II. Cartright, on the road between Sycamore 
and DeKalb, was purchased for this purpose, the County 


borrowing the purchase money ^at the rate of ten per cent 
interest. Some applications for a license for the sale of liquors 
were also made at this session of the Board, but were promptly 
squelched by a resolution offered by IT. S. Champlin, and 
carried unanimously, that this Board would grant no license 
for that purpose. 

A little hamlet of houses had now sprung up at the present 
location of DeKalb. Indeed there had been a couple of stores, 
a tavern, and a blacksmith's shop for two or three years. The 
village was called Buena Vista, and went by that name for 
several years. 


On the 31st of May, 1864, appeared in Sycamore the first 
number of the first newspaper ever printed in DeKalb county. 
The first number of this paper which was ever printed, is 
now in the possession of Jabez Gwinnup, of Cortland, who 
prizes it as a valuable relic. It was called the Republican 
Sentinel, and edited and published by II. A. Hough. The 
editor announced that the politics of the paper would be 
"Republican Democratic," which sounds oddly enough at 
this day ; but before the year was over, he was publishing in 
his columns the proceedings of the Conventions of two parties, 
the Republican and the Democratic. The Sentinel gave a 
vigorous and enthusiastic support to the Prohibitory Liquor 
Law presented to the people of the State that year for adop- 
tion or rejection, and from its columns one would have inferr- 
ed that the politics of the county, that season, hinged on the 
question of prohibition. And indeed, the people of DeKalb 
county went into this canvass with deep earnestness. On the 
29th of June 1854, a Main Law Alliance was formed, and a 
thorough canvass of the county commenced. It cannot be 
stated with truth that there was an unusual amount of drunk- 
ness in our county ; but they fought the dragon with weapons 
of flaming fire, and if it had depended upon the vote of De- 
Kalb county, the vending of ardent spirits would have been 
forever silenced in the State of Illinois. But two towns in 


the entire county — Kingston and Pierce — voted against pro- 
hibition. The following is the vote by towns : 


Franklin, 49 53 

Shabbona, 48 . 20 

Paw Paw, ....90 18 

South Grove, 56 3 

Somonauk, 135 19 

Clinton, 59 9 

Genoa, 04 42 

Pampas, 136 10 

Kingston, 55 70 

Pierce, 28 32 

Squaw Grove, 43 7 

Mayfield, 67 14 

Victor, 32 1 

Sycamore, 207 38 

DeKalb, 140 21 

1189 357 

Majority for Prohibition, 832. 

During the year 1854 the land speculators seem to have 
been fully aroused to the sense of the value of the prairie 
lands of DeKalb county, and nearly all of them were entered. 
Messrs. C. C. Shepard, H. A. Mix, J. M. Adsit, Mark How- 
ard and a number of others entered with land warrants 
which cost them about eighty cents per acre, immense tracts 
of the richest land in the world, and which they are now 
selling at twenty dollars per acre. 

In glancing over the files of the Sentinel, we find the ac- 
count of a trip made by the editor into the southern portion 
of the county ; and in this article he made the prophecy 
about one of our towns which the reader will perceive has 
been more than realized. He said : " We next visited New- 
ark Station, three miles east of Somanauk Depot. This is 
also a brisk little town and improving rapidly. It is in the 
midst of a beautiful farming country, and does the railroad 
business for Newark in Kendall county. It will be a formi- 
dable competitor of Somonauk." When we consider that 


" Newark Station" has become a town of twenty-five hun- 
dred inhabitants — Sandwich by name — and that instead of 
being distinguished simply for "doing the railroad business 
for Newark in Kendall county." she is the centre of a rich 
and populous region, shipping annually hundreds of thous- 
ands of dollars worth of her own manufactures, and re- 
ceiving annually a million dollars worth of merchandise for 
her own trade, we can form some conception of how DeKalb 
county has increased in wealth and population within a few 
years past. 

On the 14th of September 1854, there was held at Syca- 
more a political mass meeting of such a peculiar nature that 
a'part of the record of its preceedings are worth perpetuating. 
It was the organization of a new party out of the three old 
parties, and from this meeting may be dated the existence of 
the Republican party in DeKalb county. At this meeting 
delegates were appointed to attend a Republican Convention 
called to meet at Aurora ; and these delegates were thus ap- 
portioned among the three old parties represented. As most 
of the names are prominent ones in our present politics, the 
reader may be interested in seeing their former affinities. 

Democrats. — Horace W. Fay, G. A. Colton, Joseph Six- 
bury, James Harrington and Royal Crossett. 

Free Sorters. — Pierpont Edwards, Stephen Townsend, 
Thurston Carr, David West, James II. Beveridge, E. S. 

Whigs. — Reuben Pritchard, W. J. Hunt, II. A. Joslyn, 
William Byers, Dr. E. Rose, and John N. Braddock. 

The Third Annual Agricultural Fair of DeKalb County 
was held on the 11th and 12th days of October of this year. 
It was a very tame and spiritless affair, only twenty-six pre- 
miums being awarded in all, and these being divided among 
eighteen persons. Those of our citizens who participated in 
the demonstration were mortified at the poor display of the 
industry of the country, and at the close of the Fair a meeting 
of the County Agricultural Society was held, at which it was 


resolved to put forth every effort to enlist a deeper interest in 
the Annual Fairs among the farmers of the County ; and from 
the success which has attended subsequent Fairs, it is evident 
that their resolution was carried out with energy. 

At the County election this year, William Patten of Som- 
onauk, was chosen Representative in the Legislature, William 
Phelps, of Sycamore, Sheriff, and Lorenzo Whittemorc, Cor- 
oner — the latter oiTicc having been held by Mr. Whittemorc 
uninterruptedly up to the present time. 

John Settle, the Treasurer of the County, an old and re- 
spected citizen, died on the 22d of October of this year, in 
the township of Pampas ; and the vacancy in the office occa- 
sioned by his death was filled by the County Court by the 
appointment of Joseph Sixbury. 

The assessment of personal property in the County for 1854, 
was six hundred and forty-two thousand, five hundred and 
thirty-four dollars ; the total taxable property was one million 
nine hundred and fifty-two thonsand, eight hundred and two 
dollars. The total tax levied was twenty-five thousand, three 
hundred and seventeen dollars. The number of horses in the 
County was four thousand and ninety ; the number of neat 
cattle, fifteen thousand, seven hundred and forty ; sheep, 
eight thousand, five hundred and eight. 

An act of Congress passed in September, 1850, had dona- 
ted to certain States the swamp and overflowed lands within 
their borders for educational purposes, and this State had 
decided to transfer this property to the several Counties to be 
expended at their discretion. The land had been surveyed 
and a Commissioner of Drainage appointed as early as 1853. 
A special session of the Board of Supervisors of this County, 
was held in September of this year to take measures to dispose 
of these lands. On motion of Supervisor William Tatten it 
was voted, that the net proceeds of the sale of these lands, 
should be paid to the County School Commissioner, and by 
him to the Township Treasurers, to be loaned out for the 
benefit of the school fund, in the same manner as were the 


proceeds of the sale of the 16th. or school section in each town. 
The price of the first-class land was fixed at six dollars ; of 
the second class at three dollars and fifty cents, and of the 
third class at one dollar and twenty-five cents. But no small 
amount of these lands had been purchased of Government, by 
individuals, before the report of the Surveyor, designating 
the lands selected as swamp lands had been received by the 
United States authorities. It was provided that titles to these 
lands should be confirmed to the original purchasers upon 
their paying the County the purchase money or relinquishing 
the warrant used in the entry, it being understood that the 
United States would refund the purchase money to those who 
had thus entered them. At this session a petition was received 
for the organization of the town of Afton which was duly 

A smart enterprising village had grown up about the rail- 
road station at Buena Vista or DeKalb, during the preceding 
two or three years. It had grown up with wonderful rapidity, 
and promised ere long to become the largest village in the 
County. Being the most centrally located, its people looked 
upon it as likely to become at an early date the seat of justice 
for the county, and with good reason, as there was then no 
railroad to Sycamore, and people were extremely impatient 
of traveling to the county seat, through the almost unfathom- 
able mire that always impeded the traveler at the time of 
holding courts. A sharp contest over this question arose at 
the September term of the " Supervisors' Court " as the records 
then described that body, upon the proposition to build a jail 
for the use of the County. There was a pressing necessity 
for such a building however, and an order was passed to 
appropriate thirty-five hundred dollars for that purpose if the 
citizens of Sycamore would subscribe fifteen hundred 

The County tax for 1855 amounted to eight thousand two 
hundred and fourteen dollars, and a committee of the Board 
reported that the County owned a poor farm valued at four 


thousand four hundred and five dollars, and County town lot 
valued at one thousand one hundred and thirty-five dollars. 

Roswell Dow was elected County Treasurer, and Jacob R. 
Crossett School Commissioner. 

In 1855, the relative population of the three principal 
villages in the northern portion of the County was : Sycamore 
eight hundred and sixty-six, DeKalb five hundred and fifty- 
seven, Cortland one hundred and eighty-six. 

The census of 1855 showed the following population in the 
several towns : 

Genoa, 895, Kingston 874, Franklin 837, South Grove 400, 
Mayfield 835, Sycamore 1646, Pampas 1182, DeKalb 1588, 
Tierce 627, Squaw Grove 515, Clinton 867, Shabbona 066, 
Paw Paw 944, Victor 899, Somonauk 1121—13,636. 

The town of DeKalb at this time embraced within its bor- 
ders the present town of Malta, and a part of Afton. 


This year may be marked with a white stone in the annals 
of our County. It was one of extraordinary prosperity and 
remarkable increase of population. The new comers now 
became fully satisfied that farms could be advantageously 
occupied and worked upon the broad prairie at great distances 
from timber. Proximity to a railroad and consequently to a 
market for their produce, they concluded was of greater im- 
portance than proximity to their supply of fuel and fencing. 
Many new settlers began farming without any timber at all. 
They fenced their farms with wire, and bought coal for fuel. 

The Crimean war was in progress and created an extensive 
demand in Europe for the wheat which those countries could 
no longer procure from the ports of the Baltic. The spring 
wheat, which old residents had been accustomed to sell at 
thirty and fifty cents, now rose in price to one dollar and a 
half per bushel. Lands rose in value ; but still the produce of 
one acre in a single year would often pay the cost often acres of 
land. The real intrinsic value of lands so productive, with an un- 
unlimited market in the immediate vicinity, seemed enormously 


above the price at ■which they were sold. Every farmer bought 
more land. Men entirely without capital bought wild lands on 
credit and commenced the expensive process of improving 
them entirely with borrowed money. In spite of the great 
amount of money received for the sale of produce, the people 
of the County were more deeply in debt at the end of this 
year than ever before. The merchants, stimulated by the 
nourishing condition of the people, gave credit to every one 
and sold enormous quantities of goods " on tick." When the 
time of payment came in the autumn, but few were willing to 
pay. They wanted to use their money in payments upon 
their land or for other purposes, and the merchants generally 
took notes for the indebtedness and extended the time of 
payment. Everybody was " good," and everybody got credit 
for all they wished to buy. The results of this unlimited 
extension of the credit system will be found in the record of 
the following years. 

At the January term of the Board of Supervisors the 
Committee appointed to solicit subscriptions from the citizens 
of Sycamore for the erection of a County Jail reported no 
success in their mission, and recommended that the County 
proceed to build a jail without their aid. After a heated 
discussion and considerable filibustering in opposition, the 
Board appropriated five thousand dollars for this purpose and 
appointed J. S. Brown, James Harrington, and Alonzo 
Ellwood a building committee. Supervisors G. II. Hill of 
Kingston, J. S. BroAvn of South Grove, AVilliam Patten of 
Somonauk, I. W. Garvin of Genoa, W. T. Kirk of Franklin, 
H. S. Champlin of Pampas, James Parker of Mayfield, C. M. 
Humiston of Pierce, and James Harrington of Sycamore, 
voted in favor of this action, and T. S. Terry of Shabbona, 
and Alonzo Converse of DeKalb opposed it. The work was 
at once begun and after twenty-one years passed without that 
convenience, DeKalb County had its Jail. 

William Fordham, Drainage Commissioner, reported that 
he had sold lands to the value of twenty-three thousand seven 


hundred and eighty-three dollars and seventy-six cents, and 
received in cash fourteen thousand, five hundred and seventy- 
five dollars and eighteen cents, and in notes nine thousand, two 
hundred and sixteen dollars and fifty-eight cents. The Com- 
mittee report that they are satisfied with the course of Ford- 
ham in the matter. 

The town of Malta was created at this meeting of the Su- 
pervisors under the name of Milton, which was subsequently 
changed to iEtna. The north half of the township at the 
south of it, now called Milan, was made a part of this new 

The County tax for 185G was $G,851.95. The assessed 
value of real estate of the County was $2,245,614.00; town 
lots, $174,983 ; personal property, $1,143,887 ; railroads, 

The winter of 1855-5G was signalized by the most furious 
snow-storm ever' before known in the country. For three 
weeks no trains ran through upon the railroads, and not a 
mail was received in the County. 

The year 1857 opened very auspiciously, and business of 
all kinds was prospering. The credit of the people of the 
County was good, the crops were bountiful and abundant, but 
about the middle of the summer came a crash in the financial 
affairs of the country. Business of all kinds all over the 
country had become expanded to an unusual extent, and it 
was flush and easy times everywhere. With the sudden fail- 
ure of the Ohio Life and Trust Company, confidence in every 
banking or commercial institution of the country became de- 
stroyed, and they fell into bankruptcy by hundreds. The 
hard times fell upon no part of the country with more sever- 
ity than upon this new and enterprising County of De Kalb. 
Nearly every merchant in the County was forced to suspend 
payment. They urged the payment of their claims upon the 
farming community, but grain had fallen in price. Good 


wheat, which had been worth §1.50 per bushel during the pre- 
vious year, now fell to forty and fifty cents, and the farmers, 
who had based their calculations upon the large prices of 
the previous year, now found themselves unable to meet their 
engagements. Large numbers made assignments, others 
covered their property with mortgages to favored friends, so 
as to keep their numerous creditors in the background, and 
many others gathered together what they could convert into 
money, and fled the country. The business of chasing down 
run-away debtors was an important pursuit during the fall 
and winter of that sad, disastrous year, 18.37. One of the 
prominent business men of Sycamore, an extensive manufac- 
turer of carriages and wagons, a generous, high-spirited man, 
harrassed by the necessities of a number of his workmen whom 
he was unable to pay, and the importunities of other creditors 
who were equally urgent, after a day spent in scouring the 
country in the vain endeavor to collect money due him, and a 
night of sleepless anxiety over his want of success, rose before 
daylight, and plunged headlong into his own well, whence he 
was dragged out a few hours after, a suicide's corpse. He 
was a citizen who could ill be spared, a firm friend, an affec- 
tionate husband and parent. The event deepened the general 
gloom that hung over the town, and scarce a ray of light 
pierced the dark clouds of adversity that obscured the pros- 

The Board of Supervisors during this year devoted much 
of their time and attention to an investigation of, and an 
endeavor to arrange, the vexed and intricate matter of the 
swamp-land fund, so as to make it a source of some profit to 
the County, but without much success. They, however, sold 
the claims of the County to W. W. Ileaton for eight thousand 
five hundred dollars, but Ileaton subsequently failed to pay 
for it. A summary of their proceedings will be given at a 
later date. Roswell Dow was re-elected County Treasurer, 
and James Harrington School Commissioner, both gentlemen 
of the highest character, whose long connection with its polit- 


ical affairs was always a benefit to the County, and who per- 
formed their duties with scrupulous exactness and strict 

The township of Milan was organized during this year, which 
completed the organization of the County into eighteen town- 
ships, each six miles square. 

The Republican Sentinel, the only newspaper in the County, 
was purchased, during this spring, by the political friends of 
Senator Douglas, and under the editorial care of E. L. and 
Z. B. Mayo, and Jacob A. Simons, began to teach the politi- 
cal doctrines of the Douglas Democracy. Political feeling 
was excited at this time, and the Republicans, under the lead 
of C. M. Brown, James II. Beveridge, D. B. James, and 
others, at once took measures to start a Republican paper. 
Their efforts resulted in the establishment of the True lie- 
publican, which, for years, continued to be one of the best 
country weeklies in the State. Its editor, Mr. C. W. Waite, 
was a facile and fluent writer, with a good deal of literary 
taste and talent, and a remarkable enthusiasm in politics. 


This year was another in the regular course of those wet 
seasons which have been noted as coming every seventh year. 
The spring weather was tolerably fair, and promised well; but 
before the season for planting corn arrived, floods of rain 
drowned vegetation, enveloped the country in seas of mud, and 
rendered it almost impossible to conduct farming operations 
with any degree of profit. 

The wheat crop had become well started and near harvest 
time was promising an abundant yield when a series of moist 
hot days blighted it and in a few days' time destroyed its 
value. There was less than half a crop. 

This was a staggering blow to the farming community who 
had depended upon the promising crop to tide them over and 
out of the depths of depression to which the financial crisis of 
the year before had consigned them. In June the village of 
Sandwich which had grown up like Jonah's gourd, into one 


of the largest villages in the County, was visited by a destruc- 
tive fire "which consumed a considerable portion of the business 
buildings of the place, and caused a very serious loss to the 
thrifty little town. But the recuperative energies of its citi- 
zens proved equal to the emergency, and in a few months, that 
part of the town was rebuilt, and the prosperity of the place 
seemed greater than before. The citizens of Sycamore con- 
vinced that they must secure a connection with the great 
railroad system of the country in order to maintain the vitality 
of the town and retain its position as the seat of justice for 
the County, during this year commenced the construction of 
a branch railrood to connect with the Galena Railroad at 
Cortland. It was completed during the following year. 

The first Teachers' Institute ever held in the Couuty 
assembled in October, and had a successful and profitable 
session. It gave an impetus to the educational interests of 
the County, and stimulated its teachers to improve their 
systems of instruction. 

The County Agricultural Society held a very flourishing 
fair during this year, and at its regular meeting decided to 
locate a Fair ground permanently upon the grounds adjoining 
the Kishwaukee river directly north of the village of Sycamore. 

William Patten of Somonauk, was re-elected Representative 
to the Legislature from this Couuty, which at this time was 
districted with the neighboring County of Kane. A. K. 
Stiles was chosen County Clerk, and held the office for the 
following eight years. Henry Safford was chosen Sheriff. 

At the December session of the Supervisors, the name of 
ths town of Etna was changed to Malta. A strong report 
was presented in favor of erecting a fire-proof building for 
Court Records, but the proposition was voted down. 

During the year 1860, four weekly papers were published 
in DeKalb County. There were the True Republican edited 
by Daniel Dustin ; the Sycamore Sentinel edited by E. L. 
Mayo, who had lately succeeded Charles M. Chase ; the 
DeKalb Times edited by ,and the Prairie 


Home, which was published at Sandwich. The three first 
named papers were edited with usual ability. The Sentinel 
and Times were Democratic in politics, the Prairie Home 
was neutral, and the True Republican, as its name would 
indicate, was devoted to the principles of the Republican party. 

Some idea of the scarcity of money and the pressure of the 
times may be inferred from the fact that the list of lands ad- 
vertised as delinquent for taxes this spring comprised about 
four thousand tracts. Upon petition of the Board of Super- 
visors, our Representative procured the passage of an act 
suspending the collection of taxes for two months. 

A tornado swept through the Northern portion of the 
County during the month of April, prostrating broad belts of 
heavy timber like grass before the scythe of the mower. Many 
lives were endangered, but none were lost. 

A remarkable meteor during the succeeding winter excited 
some attention. It appeared to have fallen to the ground a 
mile or so north of the village of Sycamore, and a party went 
to find it. Their explorations failed to bring to light any 
portion of the expected aerolite, but unwilling to be laughed 
at for their pains they brought back some glassy fragments 
from a brick kiln with which, they so far succeeded in imposing 
upon public credulity, as to induce a visit from a scientific 
gentleman connected with the Smithsonian Institute, who came 
post haste from Washington to examine and report upon the 

The total tax raised in the County during this year was 
sixty-nine thousand, nine hundred and five dollars, of which 
about seventeen thousand was State tax, seven thousand 
school tax, eight thousand County tax, and the thirty-eight 
thousand Town, Road, Bridge and other taxes. The total 
valuation of the property of the County was three million, 
five hundred and fifty-six thousand, nine hundred and forty- 
one dollars. 


The affairs of our County of DeKalb and its people moved 


on quietly during this year 1859. The country was con- 
stantly improving and increasing in population in spite 
of the hard times which had continued since 1857 to 
oppress the energies of the people. The crops of this yea r 
were seriously injured by a prolonged drought which Avas so 
severe that large numbers of cattle were reported to have 
perished for want of water. The prices of produce were still 
low, the people were still deeply in debt, and many who had 
Aveathered the storm till this time now fled before it and ran 
away from their accumulating debts. 

The papers contained column after column of advertise- 
ments of sales by the Sheriff, and foreclosures of mortgages. 
Money was readily loaned on good security at twenty-five per 
cent per annum. Indeed this had been a common rate for 
many years before, and to this in a great measure was due 
the present distress of the people. 

The poor farm was filled with paupers whose support upon 
that place had become more costly than before the farm had 
been purchased. Twelve hundred dollars were appropriated 
out of the Treasury for the support of paupers in addition to 
what had been raised upon the farm. 

Hiram Ellwood was chosen County Treasurer, N. S. Green- 
wood School Commissioner, and J. W. Reid County Surveyor. 

Mr. Roswell Dow ran as an independent candidate against 
Mr. Ellwood and one of the most sharply contested elections 
ever known in the County was held. Ellwood received nine 
hundred and eighty-five votes, and Dow nine hundred and 


This was a somewhat noted year in the history of our peo- 
ple. One marked and pleasant incident in its record was, that 
it gave to the hard-working and long-suffering farming com- 
munity, the most bountiful crop of every kind of grain that 
had ever been raised in the County. The severe drouth of 
the previous year, drawing all the moisture of the sub-soil to 
the surface from an unusual depth, and with it the fructifying 


substances held there in solution, seemed to have covered the 
whole country with a coating of manure, and stimulated the 
yield of every crop to unusual productiveness. The aver- 
age yield of wheat was estimated at thirty bushels to the acre, 
and all other products of the soil were equally remarkable. 
During a few weeks of the early autumn, prices ruled high ; 
money poured into the County in liberal quantities, and the 
debt-ridden farmers began to feel that they had cast off the 
heaviest of their burdens. But a new difficulty arose to com- 
plicate their affairs — one which during the following five years 
engrossed almost the entire thoughts of the people. It was 
the year of the Presidential election — the first triumph of the 
Republican party in the election of a President. DeKalb 
County gave to Abraham Lincoln three thousand and forty- 
nine, out of her four thousand and fourteen votes, and the old 
guard of the Anti-Slavery party were filled with rejoicing at 
the final triumph of their principles. But in the midst of 
these rejoicings came the assurance that the South was deter- 
mined to secede from the Union. In December, South Car- 
olina adopted an ordinance of secession, and Mississippi soon 
followed, blockading the Mississippi river at Vicksburg, and 
preventing the outflow of the immense crops of corn down the 
river. The threatened war reduced the price of every species 
of produce. Corn sold in the markets of our County at ten 
cents a bushel, and large quantities of the bountiful grain was 
burned for fuel, it being considered cheaper than coal or 
wood. Hard times speedily came back again upon the agri- 
culturists of this County. 

One notable event of the year was the gathering of a col- 
lection estimated at thirty thousand persons at a great politi- 
cal meeting at DeKalb, when Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, 
Isaac N. Arnold, of Chicago, who was at this time elected to 
Congress from this district, John F. Farnsworth, and 
other eminent speakers addressed the vast gathering. 
An ox was roasted whole at this meeting, and distributed free 
to the attendants. The Wide Awakes, an uniformed political 


body, with torches and banners, attended in large numbers ; 
nearly half the young men in the county being members of 
this organization. 

The contest for the nomination of the Republican party, 
(now equivalent to election) to the office of Circuit Clerk and 
Recorder, which had been well filled for eight years by Mr. 
J. H. Beveridge, was a very exciting one. The candidates 
were Silas Tappan, Roswell Dow, J. II. Beveridge and C. M. 
Brown. Mr. Brown was nominated and elected. Thos. S. 
Terry, of Shabbona, was chosen Representative in the Leg- 
islature, Baldwin Woodruff, Sheriff*, and Lorenzo Whittemore, 
Coroner. Four thousand and nine votes were given in favor 
of a convention to form a new constitution. 


The year 1861 will be ever remembered as the first year of 
the great war with the Southern rebellion. The part per- 
formed by the gallant soldiers of DeKalb County in the great 
contest with the enemies of the Union, has been fully related 
in another portion of this work. 

No portion of the country gave a more prompt response to 
the call to arms. In nine days after the fall of Fort Sumpter, 
a company of troops from Sandwich under Captain Carr was 
garrisoning the fortifications erected at Cairo, and on the 10th 
of May, a company of which Z. B. Mayo was Captain and E. 
F. Dutton and R. A. Smith were Lieutenants, left Sycamore 
to join the famous Thirteenth Illinois, at Dixon. Patriotic 
citizens raised subscriptions amounting to over thirty thousand 
dollars, which they pledged themselves to pay if required, to 
maintain the families of volunteers, while they were absent in 
the service. The Board of Supervisors subsequently met and 
passed liberal appropriations for this purpose. In October, 
nine companies of DeKalb County men had gone into the 
service. Two were in the Thirteenth Regiment under com- 
mand of Captains Partridge and Dutton, one under Captain 
Carr in the Tenth, one under Captain Stolbrandin the Second 
Artillery, one under Captain Butts in the Forty-second, one 


under Captain Fox, two in the Eighth Cavalry under Cap- 
tains Dustin and Whitney, and one in the Fifty-second under 
Captain Stark. 

In the work of raising and equipping troops for the defence 
of the country, men of both political parties united, and in 
the selection of candidates for civil offices, no distinction of 
party was made. A Union Convention was held, at which 
the Republicans, although three times as numerous as the 
Democrats, divided the County offices equally with them, 
giving the office of County Judge to E. L. Mayo ; that of 
County Surveyor to Orange Potter ; that of School Commis- 
sioner to Dwight Crossett ; all of them members of the Dem- 
ocratic party, and awarding the office of County Treasurer to 
Hiram Ellwood, of County Clerk to Aaron K. Stiles, and of 
member of the Constitutional Convention to S. B. Stinson, 
all of whom were of the dominant Republican party. They 
were all elected without opposition. 

The financial affairs of the people of the County were very 
seriously deranged during this year by the general depreciation 
and final failure of most of the banks of issue in the State. 
The security for the issue of the bills which constituted the 
principal currency of the people, had been the bonds of the 
several States, deposited with the State Auditor. Many of 
these were the bonds of Southern States which, when the 
States seceded, sank immensely in value, and consequently 
depreciated the value of their bills. The decline began in the 
winter of 18G0, and culminated in the following autumn, dur- 
ing which time the people had money, varying daily in value 
and which no one dared to keep on hand lest it should next 
day become worthless. Finally the entire currency in common 
use became useless as money, and gold became again the only 
money in circulation. 

The census taken during this year by Mr. Z. B. Mayo, for 
the use of the United States Government, showed a population 
of nineteen thousand, four hundred and eleven, distributed as 
follows : 


Genoa, 1000; Kingston, 1060; Franklin, 943; South 
Grove, 787 ; Mayfield, 1040 ; Sycamore, 2280 ; Pampas, 
1310; Malta, 020; Milan, 203; Afton, 545; Pierce, 950 ; 
Squaw Grove, 800 ; Clinton, 997 ; Shabbona, 963 ; Pawpaw 
1107 ; Victor, 700 ; Somonauk, 2240. 

Was a year of general gloom. In place of the speedy and 
certain success of our armies which our people had confidently 
anticipated, we met defeat and disaster. The hideous 
monster of Rebellion confronted our forces at every point with 
unexpected strength and resisted our efforts with a vigor 
which we had not foreseen. None of our vast armies attained 
any marked success, while the victories of the rebels were 
numerous and disheartening. The bodies of the slain came 
back, and troops of the sick, the maimed, and the wounded 
victims of the Rebellion were to be seen about our streets. 
Still the Government asked for more troops to fill up the de- 
pleted ranks of our defeated armies, and most nobly did the 
gallant boys of DeKalb County respond to the call. In the 
midst of the busy labors of the harvest-field, a new call came 
and in a few days eight hundred of the best men of the County 
enrolled themselves in the ranks of those who were ready to 
endure toil and hardship, to sacrifice life itself if need be, for 
the defence of their country. In October, one thousand one 
hundred and thirty-three men had enlisted from this County 
and an enrollment made at this time with reference to a pos 
sible draft showed that only three thousand three hundred 
remained who were able to do military service. The enlist- 
ments were distributed as follows : 

No. enrolled. No. in Service. 

Genoa, 140 90 

Shabbona, 257 123 

Pawpaw, 282 114 

Somonauk, 024 234 

Clinton, 250 93 

Squaw Grove, 253 97 

Sycamore, 574 179 


Franklin 208 64 

Malta 219 64 

Milan, 96 27 

Mayfield, 203 58 

South Grove, 213 58 

Kingston, 258 7 3 

DeKalb, 420 107 

Pampas, 383, 88 

Victor, 201 43 

Pierce, 221 41 

Afton, 120 16 

In every portion of the County the ladies united to form 
Soldiers' Aid Societies, and labored with zeal and energy in 
the work of providing those comforts and luxuries that army 
regulations did not supply. The total number of bounty or- 
ders paid from the County Treasury at the close of this year 
was 34G6. 

The assessment made this year placed the total value of the 
property of the County at $2,712,534, of which $1,975,881 
was in farms, $190,009 in town property, and $546,664 in 
personal property. The actual value of the last class was 
probably ten times, and of the former classes about five times, 
the amount at which they were assessed. The returns showed 
that there were 10,734 horses, 24,884 cattle, 16,020 hogs, 
5092 sheep, and 138 mules, owned in the County. 

At the November elections party lines seem to have again 
been drawn, and none but Republicans were elected to office. 
W. W. Sedgwick was chosen a member of the Legislature, 
Henry SafFord was made Sheriff, and Jacob R. Crossett Cor- 

At the autumn session of the Board of Supervisors the 
claim of the County against the United States, under the 
swamp-land grant, was offered at auction. W. T. Kirk offered 
$1500, A. K. Stiles offered $1925, Reuben Ellwood offered 
$2020, W. J. Hunt offered $2045, and Benjamin Page $2050, 
all upon credit. R. Ellwood then amended his bid to $2020 
cash, and it was struck off to him. 

Five Supervisors voted against the proposition to sell, and 

432 HISTORY 01? DE KALU county. 

their written protest against it was recorded. They were 
Messrs. C. Winne, R. M. Pritchard, T. J. Vandevcre, G. W. 
Culver, and S. Denton. Soon after it was reported that in- 
justice had been done to the County by this sale, and the 
Board was called together for an investigation. A committee 
of the Board presented an elaborate report, giving the full 
history of the swamp-land matter, which was to the following 
effect : 

They report that in 1852 John L. Bevericlge had been ap- 
pointed Drainage Commissioner, with authority to drain and 
sell the swamp-lands, but that he was soon after succeeded by 
Williain Fordham. By April, 1853, Mr. Lamb, the County 
Surveyor, had selected as swamp-lands 31,153 acres, but none 
of these lands had been conveyed to the County until 1858, 
when only 5741 acres were conveyed, the remainder, about 
25,000 acres, having meanwhile been sold by the United States 
to individuals. The policy of the United States in regard to 
lands selected as swamp-lands, but which it had thus sold, 
was to return to the County the money paid in cases in which 
money had been used in paying for these lands, and to give land 
warrants in cases in which the lands had been paid for in 
warrants. The United States had accordingly paid into the 
State Treasury for the benefit of this County $0786 in money, 
and a claim for about 20,000 acres in land warrants. 

Mr. Ellwood had gone to Springfield immediately after the 
sale by the County, and had drawn $0543.19 in money. The 
land warrants he had not yet received. Messrs. Kirk and 
Stiles testified before the committee that they did not kno» 
that the money was at Springfield at the time of the sale 
Mr. Ellwood testified that he did not know that it was, but 
supposed it was, or would be soon. He supposed, however, 
that it was a smaller amount. He offered to re-convey all 
the land warrants to the County if it would pay the expenses 
of the trip he had made to Washington to procure them. 

For the land sold by Fordham nothing had been paid into 
the Treasury. He had removed from the County in 1855, 


but reported that he had received from the sale of these lauds 
$14,578.18; that he charged for his services $3443; and had 
paid for ditching $0000, leaving $5000 in his hands. The 
committee thought that very little of this ditching was ever 
done, lie had sold for the County 8731 acres, a large por- 
tion of which was land subsequently sold by the United States 
to individuals. Upon such sales the County had been com- 
pelled to refund to those who purchased from it, and had 
already raised by taxation and paid over $6000 for this pur- 
pose. The County had commenced suit against Fordhain's 
bondsmen, but had settled it for $1300. 

Thus this rich heritage intended for the benefit of the 
County, and which, had it been retained and wisely managed, 
would now have been worth more than half a million dollars, 
had really cost the County several thonsands of dollars more 
than it had received from it. 


The year 1863 was, pecuniarily, a prosperous season for 
De Kalb County. Although it had been drained of a large 
portion of its laboring population by the demands of the mili- 
tary service, and although many rich farms lay waste and 
untilled for want of men to work them,.yet the country began 
to feel the stimulus of the inflation of the currency, caused 
by the necessities of the war ; the productions of the farm 
commanded higher prices than heretofore; farmers began to 
pay off their old debts; the goods in the hands of the mer- 
chants began to rise in value ; all parties felt richer than 

The Board of Supervisors voted an appropriation of $4500 
for the construction of an extensive fire-proof addition to the 
Court House. Following the example set by the village of 
De Kalb, whose beautiful school-building was then the most 
costly and elegant owned in the State by any village of equal 
size, the village of Sycamore completed one this year equally 
tasteful and admirable in its plans. Many other places since 
that time have followed the example set by these two riva 


towns of our County, and have erected similar or more ex- 
pensive structures for common educational purposes; but at 
this time these buildings, in their style, elegance, and perfect 
adaptation to the wants of the scholars, were unique. No 
other places, except the larger cities, had ventured upon such 
an expenditure for the purpose of common-school education. 

During this year 600,000 more troops were called out by 
the President, for various terms of service, and although it 
seemed impossible that so many could still be raised by vol- 
untary effort in this County as were required to fill its quota, 
yet the quota was filled, and the County and the State were 
still free from the terrors of the draft. 

The Board of Supervisors in December offered a bounty of 
$100 to each recruit from this County, and appropriated $25 
for each family of absent soldiers requiring aid. 

At the Republican Union Convention of this year ther e 
was a sharp contest for the nomination for County Treasurer. 
Mr. William C. Tappan, of Squaw Grove, was chosen upon 
the sixth ballot, but one of his defeated competitors, Captain 
R. A. Smith, came out as an independent candidate, and was 
elected by the people, receiving 1571 votes to 062 given to 
the regular nominee. Captain Smith had lost an arm, and 
been otherwise severely wounded while in command of his 
company in the 13th regiment, in its assault upon Vicksburg, 
and this sacrifice appealed strongly to the sympathies of the 
people, lie has been twice re-elected to the same office. Mr. 
Hiram C. Beard, of Victor, was chosen School Commissioner, 
and D. W. Lamb Surveyor. 

The amount of the County indebtedness at this time was 
$43,827, mostly arising from the payment of bounties to vol- 
unteers. Its debt for other purposes was $5825. The County 
tax levied this year was $26,340. 

The jurisdiction of the County Court, which had previously 
extended only to probate matters, was this year enlarged so 
as to give it authority to try civil suits as in the Circuit Court. 
In place of the per diem allowance hitherto paid tojthe Judge, 


he was now remunerated with a salary which was fixed at 
$1000 per annum. 

The high prices for sugars and syrups had at this time 
greatly stimulated the culture of the sorghum plant, then a 
new discovery, and large steam factories for manufacturing 
this syrup were established at Sycamore and Sandwich. 
Smaller establishments were in operation in various portions 
of the County. Isaac Crisman, an indefatigable worker and 
pioneer in this branch of manufacture, had several mills in 


The year 18G4 came in with a storm, more terrible in its 
fury than the "oldest inhabitant" had ever before known. 
Heavy, lowering, black clouds seemed to descend in a mass to 
the earth in prodigious drifts of snow, which were driven with 
great force by a powerful southwest wind. The country was 
buried beneath these drifts, and the mercury sunk to thirty- 
two degrees below zero. This severity of cold was intensified 
by a fierce gale, which blew for three days with extraordinary 
fury. Many persons were frozen to death, and cattle per- 
ished in great numbers. More than one-half of the fowls in 
this County were frozen; the railroads were blocked up, and 
multitudes of passengers were compelled to remain in the 
cars for several days. Thousands of animals, in course of 
transportation upon stock trains, perished, and were brought 
to market a stiff, stark, frozen mass. None who lived through 
that fearful storm can ever forget its terrors. 

The arrival of the re-enlisted veterans of Farnsworth's 
Cavalry, upon the usual veterans' furlough, was an event of 
interest to their friends. They came back in February, upon 
a furlough of thirty days, and were most hospitably welcomed. 

Horace W. Fay, an early settler of Squaw Grove, died in 
April, at Vicksburg. He had been elected in 1848 a Repre- 
sentative of this County in the Legislature, had been County 
Surveyor, and held other public offices. Although old and 
grey, he early enlisted in the war for the Union, and after 


some years of service was made Chaplain of a colored regi- 
ment, in which service he lost his life. 

William Young, of Sycamore, a former County Commis- 
sioner, after a prolonged suffering from hypochondria, com- 
mitted suicide by morphine. 

Another extensive fire at Sandwich destroyed several ware- 
houses, with heavy loss. 

A favorite shade-tree in this County had always been the 
rapidly-growing locust, and thousands of acres of them had 
been planted for the purposes of timber and as screens from 
the fierce winds of the prairie. During this year they were 
entirely destroyed by a species of borer, which left hardly 
one tree alive in the country. 

The rapid rise in the value of gold, caused by the immense 
issues of bills required by the necessities of the government 
during this year, caused an equally rapid appreciation in the 
value of all kinds of property. Money was plenty, trade 
was lively, — every person seemed to be growing wealthy. 
Gold rose during the year to $2.40, wheat sold at $2.00, corn 
at $1.20, and barley at $1.90 per bushel. Those in trade 
rapidly made money by the inevitable rise in value of every- 
thing that they purchased, and large numbers, attracted by 
the profits of trade, moved into the villages, and filled every 
department of business. The wheat crop of this season was, 
however, a failure; it was destroyed by the ravages of the 
chinch bug. 

In February the President made a call for 200,000 troops 
for three years, or during the war, and in April came a de- 
mand for 300,000 more, for one hundred days. The Super- 
visors met, and extended the bounty of $100 to all who should 
enlist upon the first call, and offered $35 to those who went 
upon the second. Two or three companies were raised for 
the latter term of service, and were soon garrisoning the 
forts and guarding the communications in the rear of our 
great armies of veterans, now marching under Grant and 
Sherman upon Richmond and Atlanta. 


But the repeated calls for volunteers had exhausted the 
supply. In the autumn the long-threatened draft came upon 
some of the towns of the County. An enrollment was made, 

and the following official statement'gives its result: 


Pampas 118 101 17 

Shabbona 122 93 29 

Milan 37 31 6 

Malta 86 72 14 

South Grove 94 70 18 

Franklin 90 75 15 

Kingston 100 70 30 

Mayfield 93 76 17 

DeKalb 196 192 4 

Afton 81 66 l. r > 

Clinton 102 84 18 

Victor 87 79 8 

Somonauk 265 248 17 

Squaw Grove... 86 64 19 

Pierce 92 75 17 

PawPaw 124 110 14 

Sycamore 250 291 

Genoa 100 85 15 

2123 1888 273 

The people of Sycamore found to their surprise that their 
town was credited with forty-one more men than their quota 
required. This was probally due to the fact that early in 
the war men from other towns, who joined companies formed 
at Sycamore, recorded their names as coming from that town, 
thus unwittingly defrauding their own towns of the proper 
credit. This created a great deal of complaint, and a con- 
vention of the County was held at Cortland, to endeavor to 
devise some means of remedying the wrong; but nothing of 
any avail could be done. In some of the towns, meetings 
were called by the town officers, at which large sums of money 
were voted as a tax on the property of the town, it being un- 
derstood that the next Legislature would legalize these irregu- 
lar taxes. Money was advanced by citizens upon these 


promises, and by offering large bounties recruits were procured, 
and the draft averted; but in others the conscription came, 
and fell with great severity upon many citizens. It singled 
out many men whose absence would leave their families desti- 
tute and dependent, and who, in some cases, were obliged to 
pay $1000 to secure substitutes. But most of the drafted 
men went willingly, and served their time most faithfully. 

At the election this autumn General F. W. Partridge, of 
Somonauk, was elected Circuit Clerk and Recorder, I. V. 
Randall, of De Kalb, Representative to the Legislature, and 
II. A. Joslyn, of Sycamore, Sheriff. James II. Beveridge 
was elected State Treasurer, — the first person ever elected 
from the County to any public office whose duties were not 
exercised entirely in the County. The County gave 2985 
votes for the re-election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency, 
and 741 for General George B. McClellan. 

The Union League, a secret semi-political organization, 
established lodges in most of the towns of the County, and 
held frequent meetings. 

A great deal of excited feeling against the railroad com- 
panies grew up this year, because of the high prices of freight, 
and a vicious system of warehousing and grain inspection. 
A County Convention was held at De Kalb upon the subject, 
and a committee was sent to confer with the companies. Some 
unimportant concessions were made to the demands of the 

Captain J. M. Hood, of Sycamore, was appointed United 
States Consul to Siam — the first foreign appointment received 
by a citizen of this County. 


During the winter of 1864-G5 a bill for the removal of the 
County Seat from Sycamore to De Kalb was introduced into 
the State Legislature by Mr. Randall, of De Kalb. A com- 
mittee of the citizens of Sycamore immediately repaired to 
Springfield, to endeavor to defeat its passage. The number 
of names upon the petitions for its passage, and the remon- 


strance against it, was greater than the number of voters in 
the County, and many of the names were those of persons 
who had been dead for several years. 

After an exciting discussion before the committee to whom 
the bill was referred, they reported against its passage, and 
the opponents of the measure returned home. The bill was 
subsequently, however, taken up by the House and passed to 
a third reading, but it was finally defeated in the House. 

The quotas of soldiers demanded of the several towns, to 
answer the requisition of the call of December previous, were 
reported in February, as follows: 

Afton, 15; Clinton, 20; De Kalb, 27; Franklin, 10; 
Genoa, 16; Kingston, 14; Mayfield, 13; Milan, 8; Malta, 7; 
Pampas, 23; Paw Paw, 26; Pierce, 17; Sycamore, 1; South 
Grove, 16; Squaw Grove, 10; Somonauk, 40; Shabbona, 22; 
Victor, 17. Total, 323. 

Most of the towns, since the call was made, had partially 
filled their numbers by enlistments of citizens and raising 
funds by taxation to procure substitutes in the cities and 
elsewhere. Sycamore had raised money, and put into the 
service twelve men, which was eleven more than its quota. 
From $400 to $600 was usually paid to each recruit. In 
several towns, however, a draft became necessary, and some 
of the drafted men paid nearly $1000 for substitutes. 

To meet the expense caused by the taxation for procuring 
these men, the taxes levied this year were enormous. The 
percentage levied by the several towns of the County for all 
purposes was as follows: 

Paw Paw, 10 per cent. ; Shabbona, 7; Milan, 6^; Malta, 
4|; South Grove, 6-J; Franklin, 5J; Victor, 6|; Clinton, 
lOi; Afton, 6; De Kalb, 7-J; Mayfield, 6; Kingston, 6; 
Somonauk, 7; Squaw Grove, 6 J ; Pierce, 7; Cortland, GJ; 
Sycamore, 8|; Genoa, 6. 

But all now felt that the great war was nearly ended. The 
confederacy had been again bisected by the march of Sher- 
man's grand army to the sea, at Savannah; Hood's army 


had been destroyed by the gallant boys under General Thomas ; 
Grant was holding Lee in his death-like grasp at Richmond ; 
and at last, early in April, came the glad news that Richmond 
had fallen, and the rebel army was Hying in dismay. This 
was soon followed by the still more joyous intelligence that 
peace, — the bright-winged, beautiful dove of peace, — so long 
wooed, was at last won. How every heart rejoiced, how every 
eye brightened, how every household was gladdened, by the 
delightful assurance that the most terrible of all wars had 
ended ! and gloriously ended ! that the last loyal son of De 
Kalb had fallen by rebel bullets! that the husband, the father, 
the son, would soon be home again on a long, — a perpetual 
furlough ! that the cankering fear of the lonely watchers at 
home, lest he come shattered with wounds, or a mangled, 
loathsome corpse, had passed away forever ! None can forget 
the glad rejoicings of that joyous occasion. Hundreds of the 
brave boys were soon among us again, and were received with 
that glad welcome which their sacrifices and sufferings deserved. 

About three thousand men had been furnished by the 
County for the great war now gloriously ended. The official 
records of the State credit them to the various towns in the 
following numbers, probably reducing the number by estimat- 
ing and averaging them as if furnished for three years' service: 

Paw Paw, 136 ; Shabbona, 137 ; Milan, 38 ; Malta, 04 ; 
South Grove, 103 ; Franklin, 99 ; Kingston, 98 ; Mayfield, 
103; De Kalb, 223; Afton, 89 ; Clinton, 111; Victor, 103; 
Somonauk, 311 ; Squaw Grove, 93 ; Pierce, 100 ; Pampas, 
134 ; Sycamore, 307 ; Genoa, 109. Total, 2388. 

With the close of the rebellion came a prodigious fall in 
the value of gold, and a consequent fall in prices of farm 
products. Wheat fell to seventy cents per bushel, and this 
was a criterion of the value of other property. The crops 
were very poor. This was the occasion of the return of the 
regular Septennial wet season. There was a drouth in the 
summer, but at harvest time the floods poured down, destroy- 
ing a large portion of the ripened grain, and covering the 


country with a coating of slimy mud, so deep that the reapers 
would not operate upon it (when this was attempted in the 
intervals of the showers). The wet season continued during 
the fall. 

At the autumn elections there was no opposition to the 
election of the following County officers: General Daniel 
Dustin,] as Clerk; Captain R. A. Smith, as Treasurer; M. 
V. Allen, as Superintendent of Schools, and D. W. Lamb, as 
Surveyor. Colonel D. B. James was chosen County Judge 
by a small majority over Hon. E. L. Mayo. 

The census, taken during this summer by Mr. Timothy 
Wells, gave the following population : 

Sycamore, 2587 ; Genoa, 1027; Kingston, 1181; Frank- 
lin, 951; South Grove, 789; Mayfield, 1029; Cortland, 1824; 
De Kalb, 1976; Malta, 849; Pierce, 975; Afton, 672; 
Milan, 524; Squaw Grove, 679; Clinton, 1016; Victor, 
835 ; Shabbona, 1165 : Paw Paw, 954 ; Somonauk, 2636. 
Total, 21,168. 


The w T ar ended, the return of the soldiers J;o their homes 
increased the population, and gave new life to all branches of 
business. Many of the newly returned veterans crowded 
into the villages and cities, and filled to repletion every branch 
of trade. It was really a year of pros-perity. In 
anticipation of a decrease of prices, the people had pru- 
dently kept out of debt, paid cash for their purchases, and, 
foreseeing and preparing for a financial storm, all danger 
from its effects was averted. 

Many elegant churches were erected throughout the 
County, pre-eminent among them the fine Gothic structure of 
the Methodist Episcopal Society at Sycamore, the finest tem- 
ple of worship in the County. It was dedicated in May, 
1866, and over $5000 was raised at the dedication to clear 
off the debt incurred in its construction. 

About two hundred Sweedish emigrants came from the land 
of their birth, and settled in and about the village of De Kalb 
56 ' 


during this summer. They were a sober, industrious, peace- 
ful, frugal race, and constitute a valuable addition to the 

On the 8th of August a most desolating hail-storm swept 
through a belt of the northern and central portions of the 
County, beating every species of vegetation into the earth, 
as would the tramp of an army. Farmers had just commenced 
harvesting their wheat and oats, and with the exception of 
that which stood in the shock every acre of it was rendered 
utterly worthless. Thousands of acres of corn were beaten 
to bare stalks. Hail-stones, measuring six and seven inches 
in circumference, fell by millions. Children were knocked 
senseless ; pigs, fowls and birds were killed by hundreds. 
The loss, which was principally in the destruction of vast 
fields of grain, was estimated at a quarter of a million of dol- 
lars. In most portions of the County this storm was a 
drenching rain, which continued for several days, and threat- 
ened the destruction of the ripened grain. 

The cholera prevailed to an alarming extent in the cities 
during this summer, and there were a few cases in this County. 
The failure of the Sycamore Bank, on the 2d of November, 
was the cause of a great deal of embarrassment to the people 
of northern De Kalb County. Hon. James II. Beveridge, 
its President, and William J. Hunt, its Vice-President, with 
E. T. Hunt, its Cashier, were the only stockholders. The 
people had confidence in the honesty, skill and integrity of 
the two former, and all classes dealt freely with the Bank. 
But upon the failure it was discovered that these men owned 
but eight shares in the institution, while the remainder was 
in the hands of E. T. Hunt, an amiable young man of pleas- 
ant manners, with whom people liked to do business, but 
whose expensive habits and reckless management, together 
with a number of unfortunate speculations, had sunk the cap- 
ital of the concern, and brought it down in ruin. Mr. Bev- 
eridge had for three years been absent at Springfield, in the 
performance of the duties of his office as State Treasurer, 


A public meeting of the depositors appointed a committee to 
examine its affairs, and they made a full report. They re- 
ported its debts at $95,000, and assets at less than $10,000. 
During the following year a settlement was made with its de- 
positors, by which they received fifty per cent, of their claims. 

At the November election, William Patten, of Somonauk, 
was chosen State Senator, Robert Hampton, of PawPaw, 
Representative, Morris Holcomb, of Sycamore, Sheriff, Lo- 
renzo Whittemore, of Sycamore, Coroner, and V. D. Miller, 
of De Kalb, Surveyor. The total vote cast was 3049, — the 
smallest for many years. 

The Assessor's report for this year valued the taxable per- 
sonal property of the County at $754,771, and the total 
value of real and personal property at $3,068,322. The 
total County tax levied was $70,733.05, and the entire tax of 
the County was $208,030.74. The towns, which were most 
of them paying ten per cent, interest upon the indebtedness 
incurred for payment of bounties to soldiers, showed a com- 
mendable degree of determination to clear themselves of their 
debts. Their total taxes during this year were as follows : 

Paw Paw, $10,524,81 ; Shabbona, $8,207.62 ; Milan, 
$7,024.90; Malta, $7,790.38; South Grove, $10,982.25; 
Franklin, $10,793.42; Victor, $10,378.29; Clinton, $6,628.99; 
Afton, $7,252.12; De Kalb, $14,995.15; Mayfield, $11,- 
780.06; Kingston, $10,102.26; Somonauk, $21,410.76; 
Squaw Grove, $11,274.52; Pierce, $8,720.70; Cortland, 
$14,490.12; Sycamore, $20,557.54; Genoa, $7,462.29. 
Total, $200,376.45. 

It may be added that this tax, burdensome though it was, 
was more easily borne than would have been a tax of one- 
hundredth of that amount twenty years before. 

The indebtedness of the County, reported in February at 
one hundred and eighty thousand one hundred and fifty-one 
dollars, of which one hundred and sixty thousand seven hun- 
dred and fifty-three dollars was bearing interest, had been 
increased in December to one hundred and ninety-two thous- 


and seven hundred and sixty-two dollars, of which one hun- 
dred and fifty-five thousand six hundred and seventy-nine 
dollars was bearing interest. 

A great many cases of destruction of sheep by wolves were 
reported, and the Supervisors increased the bounty to twenty 
dollars upon each animal killed, with the prudent proviso 
that, as some had been detected in the profitable business of 
keeping tame wolves, and raising them for the bounty, no 
claims thus originated should be paid. 

1867. - 

The business interests of De Kalb County have always 
been to such an extent agricultural in their character that 
upon the abundance of crops and enlargement of prices all 
of its pecuniary prosperity has directly depended, and no 
record of its history for 1867 would be complete without 
mention that this was the third and the most fortunate of 
years of great prosperity among the farmers, and consequently 
with all classes of the population. With the opening of spring 
grain commanded the highest prices ever known in the County. 
Spring wheat readily Suld at two dollars and seventy-five 
cents per bushel, which a few years before has been a drug 
at fifty and sixty cents. Corn, which six years before was 
burned for fuel, was now worth one dollar and twenty cents 
per bushel. Cattle and other farm productions were equally 
high in price. Beef, which five years before was retailed at 
five cents per pound, now brought twenty cents. The farm- 
ers, who had since the war been expecting a great decline in 
prices, and had consequently been very cautious in their deal- 
ings, now began to place a higher value upon their lands. 
During the war no considerable rise in the value of real estate 
had been accomplished, but now there was a material advance. 
The beautiful prairies about Malta and Milan were fully 
doubled in value, and sold readily at twice the price of three 
or four years before. All over the County there was a simi- 
lar advance, stimulated by a promising prospect for a very 
large crop of grain. 


During this spring a new method of solving the vexed 
question of the location of the County Seat was invented. 
Upon the petition of citizens of Sandwich, which had now 
become the largest village in the County, Senator Patten, 
who was a citizen of that place, had during the previous win- 
ter introduced a bill into the Legislature, known as the Ilalf- 
Shire bill. It provided for a re-location of the County Seat 
at Sycamore and Sandwich, The latter place was to be the 
seat of justice for the six southern towns of the County, and 
the former for the twelve northern towns. It was argued in 
its favor that the business of the County, dividing in the 
thinly settled country in the central portion of the County, 
naturally flowed to the railroad towns at the northern and 
southern ends, and that neither De Kalb nor Sycamore af- 
forded a convenient place for the transaction of the public 
business of the southern portion of the County. 

One of the most exciting elections ever held in the County 
followed. To oppose this measure the citizens of De Kalb 
and its vicinity formed a stock company, and contributed 
nearly five thousand dollars to establish a newspaper office in 
that town. In March the Be Kalb County News was issued. 
It was edited by Aaron K. Stiles, the former County Clerk — 
a man of remarkable tact, shrewdness and energy. For a 
week or two preceding the election the paper was issued daily, 
and denounced, ridiculed and caricatured the measure without 
stint. The people and the papers at Sandwich and Sycamore 
supported it. Excited meetings were held in every portion 
of the County. But it turned out that a majority of the 
people in the six southern towns, who were supposed to be 
benefitted by the change, were opposed to it, and a final 
quietus was given to the measure by the efforts of a delega- 
tion from that section, composed of Messrs. Beard, Woodruff, 
Pritchard, McEwen, and Ball, men who commanded the per- 
fect confidence of the people, who traveled through the 
northern portion of the County, undeterred by storms which 
enveloped the country in seas of unfathomable mud, and ad- 


dressed meetings in every town, beseeching the people not to 
impose this measure upon them. It was defeated by a large 
majority, only the three towns of Sycamore, Somonauk and 
Mayfield giving a majority in its favor. 

During this season the attention of the citizens of the vil- 
lages of the County was turned to the subject of the estab- 
lishment of manufactories, as necessary to increase the busi- 
ness of the towns. The people of Sandwich established a 
stock company, with a capital of seventy-five thousand dollars, 
which on the following year was increased to one hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars, for the manufacture of agricultural 
machinery. A flax factory, foundry and cheese factory were 
started at Sycamore, a planing mill and manufactory of sash, 
doors and blinds, at De Kalb, and a large flouring mill at the 
rapidly growing village of Malta. A beautiful public school 
building was erected at Cortland. 

The subject of hedges for the prairie farms began to attract 
a great deal of attention, and over two hundred miles of osage 
orange hedge were set out during this spring. 

Among the meteorological phenomena of the year were 
unusually heavy falls of snow in January, a prodigious flood 
in February, extraordinary and long-continued storms in 
March, and a very destructive hail-storm in July. 

Captain E. A. Smith was re-elected County Treasurer, and 
V. D. Miller Surveyor, without opposition. 

Since the close of the war an unusual number of burglars 
had infested the country, and our County was not exempt 
from their ravages. Sandwich, Cortland and De Kalb suf- 
fered most from their depredations. 

The County Agricultural Society, which held its fairs at 
Sycamore, was revived this year, and held a flourishing exhi- 
bition. A Farmers' Club was also established, which held 
weekly meetings of decided interest and value to the agricul- 
tural portion of the community. 

The total tax of the County was $191,301, of which 
$63,173 was for County purposes, $51,664 for schools, and 
$17,128 for payment of bounties. 



No notable events have yet occurred in the history of our 
County of De Kalb during this year. Perfect peace, general 
prosperity, and extraordinary quietude have been the charac- 
teristics of the year. The crops were excellent, their prices 
fair, the people industrious, and well repaid for their labor. 
The County debt has been reduced to $85,350. The taxable 
property has been increased to $3,308,330. The assessors 
report that there are owned in the County 14,019 horses, 
27,792 cattle, 375 mules, 33,849 sheep, and 20,823 hogs. 
The number of acres of wheat grown was 46,949, of corn 
49,344, and of other field products 38,826. 

De Kalb County, at theCongressional convention of the Re- 
publican party this year, gave her vote for the first time for 
one of her own citizens, Hon. Reuben Ellwood, of Sycamore. 

At the election General E. F. Dutton was chosen Circuit 
Clerk and Recorder ; C. W. Marsh, Representative to the 
Legislature; Captain Edward Safford, Sheriff; Lorenzo 
AVhittemore, Coroner; Charles Kellum, States-Attorney, and 
W. M. Simmons, member of the State Board of Equalization. 
The largest vote ever cast in the County was given at this 
Presidential election. Its total was 4331, of which 3441 were 
given to General Grant and 890 to Horatio Seymour. 

The publication of this History of the County may be an 
event' not unworthy of mention in the annals of our County, 
and with it this record is completed. It is a picture of 
growth, progress, and prosperity, not unprecedented in this 
growing West, but yet sufficiently remarkable to fill the minds 
of its first settlers with surprise In the thirty years of 
its existence as a County, its population has increased from a 
few hundreds to nearly thirty thousand. Its progress in 
■wealth has been yet more remarkable. To the early settlers 
it seems but yesterday that the County was dependent on 
charity for the $200 necessary to procure the title to the 
lands on which its County Seat was located. Now it pays 
an annual tax of $200,000 without embarrassment. 


The log cabins of its first settlers have been replaced by 
farm dwellings as elegant as any section of the country can 
boast. The broad, open prairies have all been converted into 
handsome farms, and peopled with a dense and prosperous 
population. Its numerous villages are the centres of refine- 
ment and wealth. Over the smooth, iron railway its people 
now travel farther in an hour than they could then go in a 
day, and the telegraph places them in instant communication 
with the whole civilized world. Their energy and enterprise 
have converted the desolate waste of thirty years ago into 
the abode of refinement and luxury, and surrounded them 
with the numberless advantages of old and highly cultured 

May the future of this people be as glorious as its past has 
been prosperous, and its present is auspicious. 






Few townships in this County of ours have more natural 
attractions than Genoa. The rolling prairie land which occu- 
pies the greater portion of the township is diversified by more 
than the average extent of natural groves, and is watered by 
several fine streams. The Kishwaukee flows through a por- 
tion of the town, giving a tolerable water-power, — not so 
powerful as at an earlier day, when, as everywhere, the streams 
were larger and their flow more constant, — but capable of 
being put to use, and contributing to the growth of the town 
and convenience of the people. Wood and water are the two 
great wants of this land of the prairies, and these Genoa 
possesses, if not in abundance, yet in much more liberal 
quantities than most parts of the County. 

The first white inhabitant of the town was Thomas Madison* 
who came to the place in 1836, and built a spacious log cabin 
on the spot where, for thirty years after, a hotel was kept by 
H. N. Perkins and Luke Nichols. Mr. Perkins moved to 
the place in the autumn of 1837, and he, with Samuel Corey, 
Thomas Munnahan, and Henry Durham, bought the claim of 
Madison, who moved off to Texas. It was said to embrace 
two sections of land, and they paid $2800 for it. 

In the spring of 1837 Mr. Henry Durham had moved into 
Madison's cabin, and opened a small stock of goods for sale 
to the few settlers who were now rapidly filling up the country. 
He was a sharp, shrewd, energetic citizen, lived in the place 
for nearly thirty years, and died there, having accumulated 


a considerable fortune by trade, by hotel-keeping, and by well 
managed speculation in lands. He, with Samuel Corey, 
Henry Preston, and Daniel T. Whittemore, were among the 
first comers. 

Whittemore had the reputation of being a leading member 
of the gang of horse-thieves, counterfeiters and burglars who 
infested the country at this early day. Genoa was always 
one of the headquarters of the gang. 

In the spring of 1838, Mr. Perkins' house was entered by 
a party of them, Avho robbed him of $300. He had good 
evidence that it was taken by the Brodies, of Brodies' Grove, 
who were understood to be confederated with Whittemore and 
others at Genoa, but no prosecution was made, nor was any 
of the money recovered. 

During the year 1838 many new settlers came in, and Genoa 
became quite a lively little village. Dr. H. F. Page com- 
menced the practice of medicine there, James S. Waterman 
opened a stock of goods, and one E. P. Gleason, who after- 
wards figured extensively as a leader of the banditti, came in, 
and bought the claim of Whittemore and Corey. He had 
the reputation of being a man of wealth, and began to talk 
about building flouring mills, starting stores, and otherwise 
contributing to the growth and enlargement of the business of 
the place. During the spring of 1838 he set out that fine 
row of maples that now constitute a conspicuous ornament of 
the village. 

On the 4th of July, 1888, a great celebration was held at 
Genoa, at which George H. Hill delivered an oration to an 
audience of over a thousand people, gathered from Rockford, 
Aurora, St. Charles, and all the country round. Genoa was 
then as large and as promising a town as any of these places. 
Belvidere contained only two houses, and was by no means so 
important a place. 

Gleason, in his subsequent career, acquired an unenviable 
notoi'iety. Not long after his arrival, while he was boarding 
at Perkins' log tavern, a carpet-sack well filled with counter- 


feit money was found in his possession, and, the fact becoming 
notorious, his wealth was easily accounted for. He was a 
man of fine appearance, agreeable manners, fair in his dealing 
with his neighbors, and generally liked. He never passed 
bad money in his ordinary business transactions, but had it 
manufactured, and wholesaled it to his confederates. In 1839 
one of his gang, a traveling pedlar, was arrested in Chicago, 
and during his confinement confessed his guilt, and implicated 
Gleason as one of the chiefs of his gang. Gleason was ar- 
rested, but, although the testimony of this witness had been 
promised, when the trial came on he could not be procured, 
and Gleason was set at liberty. 

Not long after, a message w T as again sent from Chicago, 
saying that if our officers would again arrest Gleason, the 
evidence against him should be forthcoming. Three or four 
deputies w T ere now duly commissioned to go to Genoa, and 
effect his arrest. They reached his place at midnight, and 
after watching till dawn, had the satisfaction of seeing him 
come to the door of his dwelling, when they approached and 
captured him. But Gleason hospitably insisted that his cap- 
tors should stop and get breakfast before they started away, 
and they consented. Meantime, he took them out into his 
garden to show them his fine crop of corn, of which he was 
justly proud. In an instant he had disappeared in the tall 
corn, and for several years after was not seen in this country. 

Some months after, when the evidence against him had 
again become unattainable, Gleason came back, and started 
business again. He had a store, and a saw-mill, and a fine 
farm, all in full operation. He had married a respectable 
young woman of the neighborhood. 

A few years after, he became ill, and a traveling doctor, 
named Smitch, who had boarded in his family, and was re- 
ported to be attached to his wife, attended him. He grew 
worse without any evident cause. After eating one day of 
some porridge, prepared by his wife and the doctor, he com- 
plained that it did not taste quite right, but ate heartily, and 
soon after died in convulsions and delirium. 

TOWN OF GENOA. 4">-"> 

Not long after his burial, the doctor and Mrs. Gleason were 
arrested on a charge of murdering hiui by poison. The body 
was exhumed, and the contents of the stomach examined. A 
special term was held for their trial, but the evidence of guilt 
was insufficient, and they were discharged. 

They were soon after married, and moved to La Salle 
County, where the doctor died, under circumstances that led 
to the suspicion that he too had been poisoned. His wife 
soon after died very suddenly. 

Such was the miserable end of one who undoubtedly was a 
leader in much of the crime that disturbed the early settlers 
of this County. He escaped the punishment of his crimes 
against the law, only to meet a more terrible fate. 

Genoa was established as a post-office in 1836. It was 
named by Madison, its first settler, who was also its first post- 
master. He came from Genoa, in New York, and finding 
here, as there, a Geneva and Batavia, he concluded to carry 
out the parallel by giving it this name. For many years it 
was decidedly the most flourishing village in the County. 

In 1848 its trade supported four large dry goods stores, 
each of them doing a larger trade than any other in the 
County. They were kept by E. A. Durham, Robert Water- 
man, W. H. Allen, John N. Maxfield and John Ball. There 
were two large, well-built taverns, kept by Henry Durham 
and H. N. Perkins, at which a line of stages from Elgin to 
Galena made a stopping place. 

Elgin was then the market for this section of country, and 

to enable benighted travelers to keep that road on the broad, 
unbroken prairie, they annually plowed up a series of parallel 
furrows on each side of the track, and this was about all of 
the road work that was done. 

The population of Genoa in 1855 was 805 ; in 1860, 085 ; 
in 1865, 1027. 

Genoa furnished the Union army with 100 men, and at the 
time of the first enrollment for a draft had already sent out 
sixty-eight per cent, of her arms-bearing population. Of 
those who lost their lives in the war were : 


J. IT. Chase, who died at Kansas City, Mo., June 11, 1865. 

R. M. Gillett, Alexandria, Va., April 9, 1862. 

Ellis Buck, Washington, D. C, April 28, 1864. 

A. H. Burzell, who was lost off steamboat Olive, below St. 
Louis, on the Mississippi, June 28, 1865. 

Augustus Martin, at Genoa, February 13, 1863. 

Sergeant J. II. Depue, at March 21, 1864. 

J. S. Bailey, at Chicago, 111., October 1, 1862. 

J. II. Burroughs, at New Albany, Ind., December 24, 1862. 

The Supervisors of the town have been : For 1850, Henry 
Durham; 1851, G. F. King; 1852,1. W. Garvin; 1853-54, 
A. M. Hollenbeck; 1855, I. W. Garvin; 1856, Jesse Doud; 
1857, Daniel Buck; 1858-59, John Heth ; 1860, J. L. 
Brown; 1861-62, John Heth; 1863, J. L. Brown; 1864-65, 
Daniel Buck; 1866-67-68, Henry N. Perkins. 

The water-power near the village has been employed in 
operating a flouring mill and a distillery, but neither are now 
in operation. 


Tn the spring of 1835 the only human inhabitants of 
Kingston were the Pottawattamie Indians, who occupied a 
considerable village upon the farm since claimed by Lewis 
Driggs, and who, upon the low-lands near the Kishwaukee 
river, had two or three flourishing fields of corn, cultivated 
by the squaws, and protected from the depredations of their 
ponies by a shabby defence of stakes and poles. 

But the report had gone abroad that the Indian occupancy 
of this section of country must cease with the fall of this 
year, and a number of white men, attracted by the story that 
timbered land, not claimed, could be found upon the banks of 
the Kishwaukee, made their way into this section, and speedily 
claimed all of the timber in the town. Among these first 
comers were: Thomas Robb, George H. Hill, Isaiah Fairclo, 
Harmon Miller, Lewis Driggs, John Judd, Benjamin Schoon- 
over, James Green, Nathan Billings, and John Freel. They 
built for themselves rude shanties, somewhat like the Indian 
wigwams, of poles and bark, and lived in them until the ap- 
proach of winter compelled them to erect substantial, though 
small, log cabins. 

Mr. George H. Hill, who was always a favorite among the 
people of the County, for his candor, intelligence, and integ- 
rity, was stripped of his entire property this winter by the 
destruction of his house by fire. 

Kingston, in addition to the. benefits of the rich, black, 
fertile soil that is common to all the land in this County, has 
more than one-third of its surface covered with excellent tim- 
ber, and is remarkably well watered. These advantages early 


attracted settlers, and it was among the first inhabited towns 
in the County. 

But poverty and destitution were the prevalent complaints 
of the early inhabitants. They started in life without much 
property, and for many years found it difficult to acquire it. 

They raised small crops. In 1837 Mr. W. A. Miller raised 
ten acres of corn, and he had then the largest crop in the 
County. Mills were to be reached only by traveling long 
journeys, and the people avoided this necessity by pounding 
corn or buckwheat in a mortar, and living upon the rough 
cakes made from this coarse provender. Fish was a great 
resource. They were taken in great abundance, and, bar- 
relled for future use, they constituted a permanent article of 
diet. Gradually the new comers acquired the comforts of 
life, but nearly a score of years elapsed before the real hard- 
ships incident to the new settlement were ended. 

An unusual proportion of the first settlers now remain 
upon the lands which they first occupied, and enjoy that 
wealth and comfort to which the hardships endured in the 
early times have given them the best of titles. 

The population of Kingston in 1855 was 874 ; in 1860, 
1094; in 1865, 1181. 

In April, 1860, a fearful tornado swept through the town. 
It was first seen as a black cloud, in tunnel shape, sweeping 
along at the rate of a mile a minute. Huge trees were taken 
up in the air, and carried oft* like straws. A house belonging 
to Isaac McCoy was torn in fragments, and not a stick of it 
was left near its former position. Even the stones of its cellar 
were carried off'. It was occupied by Mr. Weaver, but for- 
tunately empty at the moment. The earth, in the course of 
the tornado, was swept and hollowed out so that it resembled 
the bed of a rapid river. Large stumps were torn out by 
the roots. Mr. Luke Penwell, seeing it approach, ran to 
avoid it; but being caught, seized a sapling, to which he clung 
with the energy of despair, while the wind whipped his legs 
around his head with great violence. 


A similar tornado, passing in the same direction, swept 
through the town seven years before. 

In April, 18(32, Mr. George Magenety was killed by being 
shot by Asa Baldwin, a wealthy money-loaner of Belvidcre, 
while resisting Baldwin's attempt to take possession of some 
property conveyed to him by a chattel mortgage. Baldwin 
was arrested for murder, and lay in jail for many months ; 
but obtained a change of venue to Belvidere, and w r as finally 

Kingston, from a population of 1094, gave 105 soldiers to 
the ranks of the defenders of the Union. 

Among the dead of the war from this town were three sons 
of John Russell. They were : Wesley Dickson Eussell, of 
Company F, in the Thirteenth Infantry, R. W. Russell, of 
Company K, Forty-Second Illinois Infantry, who was wounded 
at Stone River, remained seven days on the battle-field, was 
then re-taken, and died of his wounds, and David F. Russell, 
of the Ninety-Fifth Infantry, who died at Yicksburg. Rich- 
ard W. Atwood, of Company C, in the One Hundred and 
Fifth, lost an arm and leg at Dalton, Georgia, and after in- 
tense suffering, died two weeks after. Ira G. Burzell, of 
Company L, Eighth Cavalry, was drowned in the Mississippi. 
Arba Lankton, of the Ninety-Fifth, died in hospital at Vicks- 

John Swanson, at Atlanta, August 12, 1864. 

David Bear, at Chattanooga, December 27, 1864. 

Levi Sherman, at Bowling Green, December 3, 1862. 

Gilbert Barnes, at Jefferson City, Mo., October 24, 1861. 

Abner Westbrook, at Memphis, Tenn., October 22, 1864. 

James Collier, at Evansville, Ind. 

Frank Artz, at Chattanooga, October 15, I860. 

J. B. Blake, died at home, December 1, 1862. 

Abner Dalby, at Vicksburg, November 2, 1866. 

Anson Brainard, at St. Louis, December 12, 1861. 

Henry Potter, at Natchez, Miss., July 29, 1863. 

William II. Branch, at home, December 29, 1861. 


E. H. Branch, Pontotoc, Miss., July 12, 1864. 

William Davis, at Tipton, Mo., October 15, 1861. 

Lewis Miller, at home, December 4, 1864. 

William Midclleton, at Milligan's Bend, February 5, 1863. 

Andrew Raymond, at home, April 24, 1864. 

George Ayres, at home, November 8, 1864. 

Thomas Burchfield, at South Tunnell, Tcnn., Jan. 3, 1863. 

C. N. Brown, at Paducah, Ky., March 22, 1865. 

Isaac Kepple, at Batesville, Ark., May 15, 1861. 

George Palmer, at Chickamauga, September 20, 1863. 

Frank McMann, not known. 

The names of a large portion of the enlisted men will be 
found in the roster of those regiments to which they belonged. 
Amoug the commissioned officers were : Colonel Lorenzo H. 
Whitney and Lieutenant William Whitney, of the Eighth 
Cavalry, Lieutenant William Hill, of the Ninety-Fifth In- 
fantry, Lieutenant John Hickman, of the Ninety-Fifth, and 
Captain J. W. Foster, of the Forty-Second Infantry, who 
was desperately wounded and reported dead, but survived to 
suffer the horrors of a rebel prison. The story of his suffer- 
ings, escapes, re-captures, and final flight to the Union lines, 
is of thrilling interest. 

The Supervisors of Kingston have been : For 1850, John 
Sheely ; 1851, C. W. Branch ; 1852, W. A. Miller ; 1853- 
54-55-56-57, George II. Hill; 1858, George L. Wood; 
1859-60, James McAllister; 1861-62, Phillip Heckman ; 
1863, George H. Hill; 1864-65, C. W. Branch; 1867, 
Phillip Heckman ; 1868, C. W. Branch. 

A small hamlet, called Stewartville, consisting of a store, 
post-office, wagon and blacksmith shop, and a handsome Ma- 
sonic hall, is the only village in the town. 

Among the many wealthy farmers of the town, Messrs. 
N. Saum and John and James Russell have been long noted 
for the encouragement they have given to the Agricultural 
Societies, and for their noble herds of high-bred Devon cattle. 
There are three good churches in Kingston, at which public 
worship has for many years been regularly maintained by the 
Methodist denomination. 


This town, the northwesternmost of the County, contains 
more running streams and a larger surface of timbered land 
than any other town in the County. It has also some quarries 
of stone, mostly a soft, inferior limestone, which is used for 
building, and is also converted into very good lime. 

Andrew and William Miles and Samuel Corey were proba- 
bly the first settlers in the town They came in 1836, follow- 
ing close upon the footsteps of the Indians, who had been 
removed but a year before. Mr. Miles brought the first fruit 
trees, and the fine orchard on the Humphreys place was a part 
of this first importation. 

Other settlers who followed soon after were D. M. Gilchrist, 
T. H. Humphreys, Theophilus Watkins, Elder Barrett, and 
John M. Riddle. 

Hicks' mills were built in 1837, by the Hicks brothers and 
Gilchrist. They did both the sawing and grinding. The 
water-power w r as pretty good, and the mills have been in use 
till this day. In 1838 these mills were kept busy in sawing 
lumber to build the new town of Kishwaukee, which was pro- 
jected and designed to be an important place. It was located 
at the mouth of the Kishwaukee river. Several buildings 
were constructed, stores, shops, etc., started, but the town 
never acquired any considerable size, and is now abandoned*. 

The early settlers were all quite poor; indeed, many of 
them were thriftless and improvident. Some, who are now 
wealthy, subsisted for the most of the time, during their first 
residence, principally upon suckers, which they caught in 
immense numbers in the neighboring streams. 


The builders of the mill were desperately poor, and when 
their land came in market, they were unable to purchase the 
title to their mills, and they became the property of Dr. Ho- 
bart. lie was a marked character, — a man of much general 
information, — and thoroughly educated, and enthusiastic in 
his profession, of fine appearance, and possessing great ambi- 
tion, he played a prominent part in the affairs of the town in 
its early history, and acquired a large amount of property ; 
but, to the surprise of all who knew him, died of delirium- 
tremens at last. 

This township, with the other two which form the northern 
tier of the County, was surveyed and put in market some five 
years earlier than the twelve towns south of it. This accounts 
for the fact that the survey lines do not coincide with those 
of the towns below it. 

Very little of the land, however, was entered at this early 
date. It was held by means of claim associations, composed 
of men who Avere banded together to lynch any one who should 
enter lands held by claim title. In 1845 Dr. Hobart was 
President of such an association. Its by-laws provided that 
any person entering land claimed by any of its members 
soould be compelled to deed it back to the claimant, on pay- 
ment of the price ($1.25 per acre) paid for entry, or should 
pay the claimant the same sum, in addition to what he had 
already paid the government, and take the property. This 
association, holding vast tracts in this manner, kept many 
who otherwise would have become permanent residents from 
settling there. 

Many of the first settlers of the town were from the South- 
ern States. Among them were William T. Kirk, one of the 
most extensive and wealthiest of the farmers in the County, 
and who has borne a prominent part in its political affairs ; 
Spencer Myers, an energetic, wealthy farmer : the Riddles, 
men distinguished for sound judgment and good sense ; and 
the Rowins, extensive, spirited, and wealthy farmers. 

D. B. Kingsbury, an intelligent and worthy citizen of this 


town, came from New Hampshire in 1844. He bought a fine 
farm of one hundred and forty-four acres for one thousand 
dollars, and has since added largely to its extent. At that 
time most of the town was not settled, or entered. There 
was but one house between Kingsbury's grove and the little 
town of Belvidere. 

Thomas J. Humphrey, a gentleman of education and cul- 
ture, and a lawyer by profession, came in 1848. He died 
soon after his arrival, leaving a large family of children. 
The eldest male member of this family was Thomas W. 
Humphrey, Avho was then but eight years of age. Although 
left thus early, struggling with the hardships of frontier life 
in Illinois, he acquired a superior education for his circum- 
stances, passed through the scientific course at Beloit college, 
subsequently became deputy Circuit Clerk of He Kalb County, 
married at twenty-one, and purchased the Humphrey home- 
stead. He was always a bold, brave, ventursome youth, 
whose intelligence, integrity, and manliness of character made 
every one his friend. He crossed the plains to California in 
1861, and on the expedition heroically rescued a w r ounded 
emigrant and his family from a tribe of hostile Indians. 

Returning in 1862, he raised a company of volunteers from 
about the borders of De Kalb, Boone and McIIenry Counties. 
This company was made a part of the 95th Illinois Infantry, 
of which he was chosen Lieutenant-Colonel. Devoting him- 
self with characteristic ardor to his new profession, he was 
from the first really its first officer. 

At the storming of Vicksburg, on the 19th and 22nd of 
May, 1863, he was wounded on the first day, but, continuing 
at the head of the regiment, was on the 22nd stunned by the 
explosion of a shell, and reported killed, but crawled back 
to camp in the night. 

At the disastrous battle of Guntown he lost his life, and 
with that loss the army lost one of its most distinguished and 
most fearless officers, and De Kalb County one of the most 
heroic of her sons. 


His body was returned to Franklin, and beneath the grand 
old oaks of the family home the largest concourse ever as- 
sembled in the town gathered to honor the memory of their 
martyred hero, by one of the grandest of funeral ceremonies. 

A younger brother of General Humphrey, Captain James 
Humphrey, enlisted early in the war as private, in the Eighth 
Cavalry, and fought his way up to a Captaincy. 

Of the ninety-nine men enlisted from this town seven be- 
came commissioned officers. They were, in addition to those 
mentioned, Captain John B. Nash, Lieutenants Hiram Har- 
rington, Samuel Williamson, John M. Schoonmaker, and 
John W. Burst, all of the One Hundred and Fifth. Lieu- 
tenant Burst first entered the Fifteenth Infantry, but lost 
his sight while on duty in Missouri, by the poison of a scor- 
pion. After nearly six months of blindness, he recovered; 
and, full of ardor for the great cause, he re-enlisted in the 
One Hundred and Fifth, and after two years faithful service 
at the battle of New Hope church, he lost his leg, which 
was three times amputated before it finally healed. 

Of the martyred dead of the war from this town were: 

Hiram S. Harrington, who died August 27, 1863. 

W. Miles, at home, December 2, 1862. 

Wesley Witter, at home, December 25, 1862. 

John Stoker, in hospital, Bowling Green, Nov. 23, 1862. 

Eustice Lusher, in hospital, Bowling Green, Nov. 21, 1862. 

Henry Cline, at Gallatin, December 22, 1862. 

Alonzo Randall, near Memphis, March 1, 1863. 

J. H. Strawn, at Gallatin, July 20, 1864. 

W. L. Foss, at Atlanta, August 16, 1864. 

C. E. Foss, at home, April 20, 1865. 

A. G. Foss, at Chattanooga, 1862. 

S. L. Cronkhite, at home, August 24, 1865. 

Isaac Weaver, at Alexandria, Ya., January 21, 1862. 

P. C. Rowin, at Stone River, December 31, 1862. 

Danford Goralum, December, 1863. 

J. G. Griffin, in hospital, N. Y., May 25, 1865. 

John Eckert, at Paducah, March 9, 1862. 


A terrible tornado passed through the northern portion of 
the town of Franklin on one Sunday in May, 1853. It 
prostrated immense trees, fences, buildings, and everything 
that stood in its course. The first house struck was Mr. John 
Youngs'. It was a large building, but in an instant it was 
lifted up, shattered to splinters, and considerable parts of it 
carried off' so far that they were never found. Mrs. Young 
was killed instantly. The residence of Mr. Ira Dean was 
next struck. It was torn in pieces ; and a lady relative, 
who chanced to be visiting there, had her back broken, and 
died soon after. In a chamber were two boys, engaged in 
playing cards. Both were blown out of the window, but not 
seriously injured. Several other houses were unroofed, and 
some barns destroyed. 

In 1860 another tornado passed through the central por- 
tion of the town, passing, like the former, from the southwest 
to the northeast. It carried off one house, of which the oc- 
cupants were absent, and twisted off and carried away huge 
trees, which could never after be found. Some electric force 
seemed to be at work in this terrible gale. It tore the iron- 
work from tools and machinery, and played numberless 
strange pranks. 

Upon Mr. Charles Buckman's place may be seen a curious 
relic of the Indians. It is a stout stick of timber, about 
eight inches square, hewn out so as to resemble an Indian 
with four faces. It is reported to be an Indian idol. 

The population of the town was 837 in 1855, 936 in 1860, 
and 951 in 1865. The town was organized under the present 
form of government in 1850. 

The names of its Supervisors have been : For 1850, Clark 
Bliss; 1851, John Kiddle; 1852-53-54, Jonas Iloight; 
1855, William T. Kirk; 1856, W. L. King; 1857-58-59- 
60-61, William T. Kirk ; 1862-63-64, J. W. Ellithorpe : 
1865-66, D. B. Kingsbury: 1867-68, Stephen G. Rowin. 


This pleasant farming town, with its pretty name, so sug- 
gestive of green fields, May-flowers, and all of the beauties 
of spring-time, was first settled in 1835. The valuable tim- 
bered lands upon the shore of the Kishwaukee, which courses 
along its eastern border, early attracted settlers, and it was 
claimed and occupied by adventurous white men even before 
the departure of the Indians. A large Indian village then 
occupied the present site of Coltonville. 

John Tower, John Thorn, Morris and Erasmus D. Walrod, 
James and Samuel Gilbert, Ira Douglas, Robert Graham, 
James McCollum, and Henry Madden, were among the first 
to occupy this very attractive section of the County ; but 
with them were a number of rough fellows, who made claims 
of great extent for the purpose of selling them out, and who 
defied the regulations of the claim association, and kept up a 
war which drove emigrants away. 

Stephen Mowry first settled the place afterwards purchased 
by Rufus Colton, and which, a few years after, was known 
as Coltonville. This, about 1838, became a smart little vil- 
lage, at which the courts of the County were first held, and 
which it was supposed would be the County Seat. Mr. Cox, 
Mr. Peaslee, Spafford and Curtis Smith, Phineas Stevens, 
and Timothy Richardson, first settled this southern portion of 

the town. 

Dr. Henry Madden, an active and intelligent citizen at 
Brush Point, was the first Representative to the Legislature 
from this district, and labored hard to secure the location of 
the County Seat at his place. 

Before Sycamore had an existence there was a lively vil- 

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lage of a dozen houses at Coltonville, with a lawyer and a 
doctor, a store, a tavern, post-office, and shops. 

A distillery was built by Phineas Stevens and Rufus Col- 
ton in 1840, but it never was a source of much profit. The 
proprietors couldn't prevent their fattening swine from get- 
ting drunk ; and when Stevens finally barreled them up, took 
them one hundred and fifty miles north to the pinery for a 
market, and then obtained only two cents a pound for his 
pork, the distillery was abandoned. 

The little village at Coltonville gradually declined, its 
buildings were removed, and now the entire town contains 
no village, nor even a post-office, being better accommodated 
for these purposes by the neighboring village of Sycamore. 

Liberty was the name given to the town upon its organiza- 
tion in 1850. It was selected by the Townsends, Nichols', 
and Nickersons, — those earnest, active members of the Lib- 
erty party of those times, who were neither ashamed nor 
afraid to be known as station-agents on the underground 
railroads, — but the name had probably been previously given 
to other townships; for a few months after, it was changed 
to Mayfield. 

Deer, wolves, and massasaugers (or the prairie rattle- 
snakes), were particularly numerous in the first years of its 
settlement. In the autumn of 1837, Mr. Godfrey Carnes 
killed twenty-five deer on his farm, and one new comer was 
startled, on finishing up the center furrow on a ten-acre 
"land" which he was breaking, to find twenty-five lively 
massasaugers hissing and rattling their warnings at him. 

The town was kept in a broil for many years by claim 
jumpers; but when the claim wars were settled by the perfec- 
tion of their titles through purchase from government, and 
the claims of the rival points for the seat of justice had been 
disposed of, the affairs of the town moved on the even tenor 
of their way. with perfect quiet. The old settlers gradually 
acquired the comforts of life, the outlying prairie became 
settled, and the country increased in population and wealth. 


In 1855 its population was 835, in 1860, 998, and in 1865, 

Mayfield sent 103 men to fight the slaveholders' rebellion, 
and scarcely any town in the County was more prompt in 
responding to the calls of the government. 

Those who gave their lives to the country in the war were: 

J. P. Young, who died at Camp Nelson, March 5, 1864. 

W. H. Decker, at Farmington, May 16, 1862. 

G. G. Farewell, at Shiloh, Tenn., April 6, 1862. 

J. Patterson, at Camp Sherman, Miss., August 25, 1863. 

Turner Wing, at Mayfield, May, 1862. 

Alonzo Houghton, in rebel prison, Cahaba, Ala., Septem- 
ber, 1864. 

Wm. Stevenson, at Kenesaw Mountain, Ga., June 27, 1864. 

Joseph Piper, at Quincy, 111., April 23, 1862. 

Samuel Piper, at Youngs' Point, La., April 1, 1863. 

Edward Howe, at Chattanooga, Tenn., August 15, 1864. 

Elias Goble, at Gallatin, Tenn., December 21, 1862. 

Marvin Dennis, at Smithland, Mo., December 31, 1861. 

William Kerr, on steamer City of Memphis, Jan. 5, 1863. 

The assessment of 1868 shows that it is one of the most 
wealthy of the towns of the County, in proportion to the 
number of its inhabitants. 

The first religious meetings in the County were held in 
Mayfield, by the Methodists, and for a year or two they were 
held regularly at Mr. Ira Douglas' house. They were sub- 
sequently continued at the school houses ; and in 1860 a fine 
church was built at Pleasant Hill, by that denomination, the 
inhabitants contributing with unusual liberality for its con- 

The town Supervisors have been : For the year 1850, 
Mulford Nickerson ; 1851, Willis Lott ; 1852, James Siv- 
right ; 1853-i4, Agrippa Dow ; 1855, James Parker ; 1856, 
Henry Madden ; 1857-58. W. A. Nickerson ; 1859-60, A. 
B. Crippen; 1861-62, James Sivright; 1803-64, T. Wyn- 
koop ; 1865-66-67-68, Curtis Smith. 


This township, which was organized in 1850, was first 
called Vernon. It had previously been known as Driscoll's 
Grove ; but the name it now bears was, soon after its organ- 
ization, agreed upon by the settlers. 

It is considered one of the best farming towns in De Kalb 
County. The land is very pleasantly undulating; the subsoil 
seems peculiarly adapted for the drainage of the surface, and 
vegetation is early and rapid. There is scarcely an acre of 
waste land within its borders. 

The highest point of land between Chicago and the Missis- 
sippi river is in the southern portion of this town. 

A pleasant little stream of water, called Owen's Creek, 
following a meandering course, passes nearly through its 
whole length, rising in the southeast portion, and flowing 
towards the northwest, where, in the adjoining town of Frank- 
lin, it empties into the Kishwaukee river, In its course the 
stream widens several times, forming miniature lakes, which, 
in the warm season of the year, with their wide borderings 
of deep green, the many flocks of water-fowl, hovering high 
above them, or settling down into the clear waters where the 
pickerel and a variety of smaller fry abound, form pictures, 
not only very attractive to the lover of nature, but to the eye 
of the sportsman and angler. 

Uniting the two groves, and running away over the prairie, 
on the one hand to Brodie's Grove, and the other to the 
Kishwaukee timber, the early settlers found the Indian trail 
over which, it is said, Big Thunder sometimes led his braves, 
more than once making the larger of the two groves a place 
of temporary encampment. But the deer had well-nigl 1 'lis- 


appeared before the bowstring of the dusky hunter had 
snapped for the last time in these regions, though the howl 
of the prairie wolf has, until within a few years, been almost 
nightly heard. 

On the borders of the creek are two bodies of fine timber, 
one, called Orput's grove, containing about sixty acres, and 
the other, South Grove, formerly called Driscoll's grove, of 
three hundred, or more, acres. 

The groves abound in a variety of wild fruits : the native 
plum, sometimes very sweet and rich, the wild crab and thorn 
apples, the mandrake, gooseberry, etc.. and nuts of various 

In 1851 Ichabod liichmond, an erratic, though enterprising 
genius, built a saw-mill and grist-mill on Owen's Creek, in 
section twenty-six ; but a quantity of water sufficient to ope- 
rate it was never found, except in the time of a freshet. 
A similar experiment, and with like success, was made by 
Mr. Barney Hatch, farther down the stream. 

The first settlements in this town Avere on the east side of 
the grove, and as late as in 1858, though portions of land, 
scattered wide apart, had been pre-empted and purchased of 
the government, the most of the inhabitants were still in the 
neighborhood of the grove, and it was a question whether 
these broad prairies, destitute of timber or surface water, 
would ever be converted into farms. 

In 1853, when it became certain that a railroad would be 
built near, or through, the town, the land speculators became 
purchasers of nine-tenths of what remained in government 
hands, entering with land-warrants which were bought at 
eighty cents, or less, per acre, — lands which are now worth, 
with the improvements made upon them, thirty or forty dol- 
lars per acre. 

During the past five years nearly all of this land has been 
purchased of these speculators, and made into farms, leaving 
but very little unbroken prairie ; but no village has ever ex- 
isted in this rich, long-settled, and flourishing town. 


The population of South Grove is made up of several na- 
tionalities. The majority of the present inhabitants were 
originally from the State of New York; a few came from 
New England ; and the foreigners are Scotch, English, and 
Irish ; there are, also, a few families of German descent. 

In 1838 came the first settler, William Driscoll, from 
Ohio, who built him a log cabin on the east side of the grove, 
near the spot where is now situated the pleasant residence of 
his estimable widow and her son. He was followed by his 
father and brothers. The subsequent career of these men, 
and their tragic fate, will be found, described at length, in a 
foregoing chapter. 

The second arrival was also from Ohio, — Mr. Solomon 
Wells, — who purchased of Driscoll the south end of the grove 
— a hundred acres or more — for sixty dollars. He was en- 
titled, of course, to all the adjacent prairie he chose to claim. 

In 1840, or the year previous, came the Orput family, who 
settled near the smaller grove which has since been called by 
their name. 

The Beeman and Hatch families arrived during- the same 
year. A few members of the last named family still reside 
in the town. 

In 1841— -there were then six families of actual settlers — 
came Mr. James Byers, Mr. Tindall, and Mr. Benjamin 
Worden; and in 1843, Mr. Jonathan Adee and Mr. Matthew 
Thompson, — the four families, Byers, Worden, Adee, and 
Thompson, emigrating from the same neighborhood in "York 
State" ; and they and Mr. Tindall still remain on the same 
farms they first purchased. These early settlers, by their 
industry, enterprise, and good management, have given tone 
and character to the town. Their married sons and daughters 
have, with few exceptions, settled not far from the old home- 

In 1846 Mr. John S. Brown purchased the Beeman place, 
on the northwest side of the grove, and settled there with 
his family. He became a prominent actor in politics of 


the town and County, and in 1862 assisted in the raising of 
a company of soldiers for the Fifty-Second regiment. He 
was made Captain, but soon resigned his commission. 

In 1845 came the Safford family, and settled in the east 
part of the town. Mr. Henry Safford, belonging to the 
dominant party in politics, has been twice elected sheriff' of 
the County; and a nephew, — who, with a brother, came to 
the town several years later, both enlisting in the One Hun- 
dred and Fifth regiment, both afterwards created Captains, 
and both dangerously wounded in battle, — was elected sheriff* 
of the County in 1868. 

A little later came Mr. De3'o and Mr. W. II. Stebbins. 
Their farms were two miles west of the grove. 

After that the emigration was more rapid ; the llickard 
and Becker families in the west part of the town ; the McLel- 
lan and Mason families in the north; E. Currier in the east; 
and in the south several families from New England. 

The first school in South Grove was taught by Mr. James 
Byers, senior, who furnished a school house for his twenty-five 
pupils, — the second room in his double log cabin, — and boarded 
himself, for ten dollars per month. A dollar was a dollar in 
those days, for it would buy twenty pounds of coffee in Chi- 
cago; but Mr. Byers' salary was paid in potatoes "and such." 

The young men and women about the grove will never for- 
get that school, — how the kind, genial voice of the teacher, 
softening down its rugged Scotch, cheered them over the 
frightful Alps of "a, b, ab," and "two times one are two," — 
how the eyes were always blind to any fun, and the laugh 
was ever as long and loud as that of the merriest urchin. 
No wonder that those boys and girls, a portion of them, 
"played the mischief" with some of the teachers who suc- 
ceeded this model one. 

The first school house was erected in the grove. It was of 
logs, but nicely built, and considered quite a capacious one; 
though it was, after a time, pretty well filled with its sixty 
scholars. It was twenty by twenty-two feet, and well lighted, 


having a window five or six panes in width and two in height 
at each end of the building. 

Mr. H. C. Beard and Mr. T. K. Waite, of Sycamore, were 
among the successful teachers in the log school house. 

The second school house was built on a fine site donated to 
the district by Mr. James Byers, senior, in 1854, and in 1868 
another, — a very pleasant and commodious one, the former 
having been destroyed by fire, — was erected in the same place. 

There are now seven schools in the town, all furnished with 
comfortable school houses. The number of pupils in the dis- 
tricts in 1868 is 248 ; and the amount paid to teachers is 
$834.31. Total expenditures for school purposes for the year 
ending September 30, 1868, $1676.97. 

During the time when a large portion of the land belonged 
to speculators, the people adopted a shrewd device for build- 
ing their school houses with slight cost to the inhabitants. 
They attached the sections thus owned, successively, to every 
district which wished to build a school house, promising the 
few scattered inhabitants that the taxes levied on them should 
be refunded by contributions out of their own pockets. Then 
levying the highest possible taxes on the speculators' lands, 
they supplied themselves, cheaply, with school buildings, as- 
tonishing the said speculators, who could not understand how 
they were taxed, for several successive years, for the construc- 
tion of those buildings, and yet have not one within miles of 
their lands. 

Churches are yet to be built, — the people, sume of them at 
least, evidently thinking, with Horace Greeley, that it is best 
for a man to attend first to the business of the world he 
lives in. 

There are now two religious bodies in town. The Meth- 
odist church was organized in 1855 by Rev. Mr. Jennings, a 
man of good abilities, and evidently a very sincere and de- 
voted Christian. This church and Sabbath-school holds its 
religious services in No. 1 school house. The Advent church, 
with which is also connected a Sabbath-school, was organized 


in 1867. Their place of worship is school house No. 2. 

In 1842 was organized a Freewill Baptist church, under 
the care of Rev. Mr. Norton. This church did not keep up 
its organization. 

A great camp-meeting was held at the grove in 1860, at 
which leading ministers from abroad addressed vast audiences, 
and much religious interest was aroused. At a much earlier 
day there were occasional religious revivals, which were re 
markable for the great earnestness exhibited by the converts 
among that primitive population ; and, it may be added, by 
extraordinary and exciting scenes in their meetings. 

Among many anecdotes still related, with great gusto, is 
the following: A very worthy, but previously profane, con- 
vert, rising; to his feet to urge his hearers to greater zeal and 
earnestness in religious duty, fell, unconsciously, into his old 
mode of expression, and exclaimed: 

''Brethren, I like to see a man, if he pretends to be a man, 
to be a h-11 of a man ; and if he pretends to be a Christian, 
to be a h-11 of a Christian !" 

The first post-office was established in 1841, called the 
South Grove Post-office, the postmasters of which, have been, 
successively, Timothy Wells, James Byers, senior, II. Safford, 
E. Currier, Jonathan x\dee, and Mrs. E. A. Palmer. 

The second one was established in 1858, called Deerfield 
Prairie Post-office ; postmaster, P. Waterman, succeeded by 
Mr. Wiltse ; and Dustin Post-office, established in 1868, — 
Henry Crisman, postmaster. 

Hotels are things of the past, but they Avere "institutions" 
in their day, when the St. Charles and Oregon State Road, 
running through South Grove nearly at its centre, was the 
great highway of the region, and traveled by teams heavily 
loaded with grain, even from so far west as the Mississippi 

One of the hotels, that which stands on the farm of Mr. 
Masterson, and occupied by him as a dwelling house, was 
kept, for a while, by Mr. Beeman. It is still in a good state 


of preservation, especially the hall, which was dedicated to 
the goddess Terpsichore ; and many a resident of De Kalb 
County will remember, as long as he lives, the pleasant gath- 
erings at Beeman's, when what was wanting in elegance was 
made up in merriment. 

The other was kept by Mr. Adee, near the grove ; and it 
is not to be wondered at that that gentleman is now so well 
off in life, when it is remembered how exorbitant were his 
charges, — forty or forty-five cents being required for only 
supper, lodging, breakfast, and hay for a span of horses or a 
yoke of oxen. 

But while the hotels were so well patronized, it was a hard 
time for the farmers. Again and again the teamsters who 
had taken the loads of grain — the product of the whole sea- 
son's hard toil — over that long, weary way to Chicago, would 
not bring back money enough even to pay their trifling bills, 
— a few groceries, a little bundle of cloth, perhaps a pair or 
two of cheap shoes, besides food for their families, being all 
the avails of a year's hard stragglings. But the men and 
women of this region put their shoulders to the wheel, and 
called upon the gods ; and by-and-by Hercules came, in the 
form of a railroad. 

And then, very speedily, the prairie fires went out; for the 
lands which they had swept over, in the autumn of so many 
years, were being crossed here and there by '"highways and 
hedges"; and dwelling houses, not very imposing structures 
many of them, but vastly superior to the log cabin, and built 
with reference to the addition which would soon appear, in 
the shape of a handsome front, with stables, and young or- 
chards, and a variety of fruit-bearing shrubs and shade-trees, 
were springing up in all directions. 

The log cabins of the earlier settlers had then mostly dis- 
appeared, and the dwellings were being enlarged and improved; 
new stables were being built, the old "Virginia rail-fence" 
was fast disappearing, and the town was losing its uncomfort- 
able look of newness. 


At the present time South Grove has many well-enclosed 
and highly cultivated farms; commodious, pleasant dwelling 
houses, and large and convenient stables and granaries; fine, 
bearing orchards, and handsome shade-trees. In 1868 about 
one hundred miles of hedge were set in town, and hedging is 
just commenced. 

In 1857 it was estimated that more than 100,000 bushels 
of wheat were raised in this town; and in the third year 
after, the yield was supposed to be still greater ; though it is 
not thought, by the best informed farmers, that wheat-raising 
is a remunerative business. 

Since I860 other cereals, with grass seed and flax, have 
been more extensively grown, and stock-raising has consider- 
ably increased, the farmers every year improving their breeds 
by the introduction of fine, blooded animals. 

There are in South Grove one carriage and two blacksmith 
shops, but no village. 

The population of South Grove in 1855 was 400; in I860, 
662 ; in 1865, 789. It is credited upon the records of the 
State with 103 soldiers furnished for the great war. The 
town raised by taxation for war purposes $11,127. 

Its first Supervisor was John S. Brown, who served in 
1850. He was followed by W. M. Byers in 1851-52 ; by 
Jesse Tindall in 1853-54 ; John S. Brown in 1855-56 ; by 
James Byers, Jr., in 1857-58 ; by John S. Brown in 1859 ; 
by W. T. Adee in 1860-61 ; by W. M. Byers in 1862-63 ; 
by George A. Gillis in 1864-65 ; by James Byers, Jr., in 
1866-67 ; and by A. C. Thompson in 1868. 


The annals of the County, whose incidents naturally group 
themselves about the County Seat, have already given a pretty 
full history of this town. It is a pleasant town, unusually 
favored by nature with an abundance of timber and running 
streams. Its soil is particularly rich, black and unctuous, 
destitute of sand or gravel, and hardly as productive as that 
of some other portions of the County. This may, however, 
be due to its having been longer tilled; for when Erasmus 
Walrod first came here, in 1835, he raised ninety bushels of 
corn to the acre, on the upturned prairie sod. 

The first settler of the town was probably Lysander Dar- 
ling, who came in 1835. Dr. Norbo, a Norwegian, came the 
same year, and claimed Norwegian grove, which thus received 
its name. Also, Mr. Chartres, a Frenchman, who gave name 
to Chartres' grove. J. C. Kellogg, E. F. White, Zechariah 
Wood, and Peter Lamois, were also among those who made 
their homes within the borders of what now constitutes this 
township, in this first year of its settlement by the whites. 

In 1836 the New York Company, composed of Christian 
Sharer, a wealthy New Y^orker, Evans Wherry, Clark Wright, 
and Mark Daniels, under the firm name of C. Sharer & Co., 
claimed two square miles of land, running from Marshall 
Starks' farm on the north to the south line of the town. 
They laid out a village plot at the north of the creek, damned 
the Kishwaukee river, built a mill, enclosed with a hi^h, 
heavy rail fence a tract sixty rods wide and two miles lon<>- 


whose west line was on what is now Sornonauk street, and 
prepared to build up a town. 

This was in the flush times, when wild-cat money in abund- 
ance filled every ones pockets, and the speedy growth of great 
cities in the west was confidently expected. 

When these bubbles had burst, and hard times came on, 
the company, although they had expended a large amount of 
money, abandoned their claim, dissolved their co-partnership, 
and never "entered" their land. 

The old town of Sycamore, north of the creek, consisted of 
two or three log cabins, in some of which Esquire Jewell kept 
a blacksmith and wagon shop, and J. C. and Charles Water- 
man kept a store. It was abandoned next year for the higher 
land where the present village of Sycamore stands. 

Captain Eli Barnes built the first house in this village, — 
the large tavern now the Sycamore Hotel. The construction 
of so extensive a structure was considered a wild, extravagant 
expenditure of his means; but it did much to establish the 
town, and retain the County Seat, which it was then thought 
would soon be removed. The Captain was full of zeal for 
the welfare of this village, and for years labored, perhaps 
more than any other man, to secure friends and votes to 
counteract the numerous efforts to procure the removal of the 
seat of justice. 

A little framed house had before this been moved down 
from the Hamlin farm, and was occupied by Dr. Barrett, the 
first physician of the place. It stood, till 1855, where D. B. 
James subsequently built a handsome residence, and was then 
burned down, on suspicion that it had been used for the sale 
of liquor. 

The old Court House was built in 1889, nearly opposite 
the present structure, and in 1840 the dreary little village 
consisted of a dozen houses, scattered over considerable land, 
but without fences, and with but one well. 




* Sylvanus Holcomb. 

* D. Bannister. 

Mansion House. * I * J. C. Waterman. 

C. Lattin. * 

E. P. Young-. 



c» c a. 





Court House 

s. •» 



w" 7 




J. Sixbury. * | 

The Mansion House, called the Nunnery, then kept by 
Morris Walrod, contained a large part of the population of 
the place. 

A Congregational church was organized in 1840 with eleven 
members, and, with Rev. David Perry for pastor, held services 
in the Court House. Captain Barnes gave the church the 
lot on which their handsome church edifice now stands, and 
the building was erected in 1844, but not completed till two 


years after. A Methodist church was built the same year, 
on a lot given by Carlos Lattin. The Episcopal church was 
built in 1856, and the Baptists, Universalists, and Roman 
Catholics, built churches two or three years after. 

Marcus Walrod was the first boy born in the place, and 
Mrs. W. R. Thomas the first girl. 

Eli G. Jewell and Captain Barber did most of the law busi- 
ness for many years; but in 1841 Andrew J. Brown opened 
an office, — the first regular lawyer. He was succeeded by 
Mr. Masters, and he, in 1842, by E. L. Mayo. W. J. Hunt 
practiced law here in 1844. There were then eighteen houses 
in Sycamore. 

In 1848 the population of the village was 262; in 1849 it 
was 320 ; in 1850, 390 ; and in 1851, 435. 

Much of the land now included in the village was still 
owned by government in 1848. During that year, Mr. J. S. 
Waterman entered his fine farm, and W. J. Hunt took up a 
half-section north and east of the village. 

In 1855 there were in Sycamore six dry goods stores, two 
hardware stores, two cabinet ware-rooms, one drug store, four 
grocery and provision stores, two saloons, three taverns, one 
banking and exchange office, two wagon shops, one livery 
stable, two harness shops, two tin shops, one jeweler shop, 
three shoe shops, four blacksmith shops, one shingle manufac- 
tory, one tailor shop, one meat market, one cooper shop, seven 
lawyers, four physicians, ten carpenters, four painters, three 
circulating libraries, three churches, and one steam saw-mill. 
The population of the township at this time was 1646. 

In 1858 Mr. D. B. James erected the fine brick block now 
called George's block, which was dedicated with an old-set- 
tiers' celebration and festival. During the same winter a 
series of interesting lectures were delivered there by Horace 
Greeley, Bayard Taylor, George Sumner, and other distin- 
guished speakers. 

In the following year the Sycamore and Cortland Railroad 
was built, at a cost of about $75,000. Its cost was a heavy 


expense to the citizens, for the times were hard and money 
scarce; but it has proved a source of great advantage to the 
business and growth of the town, which has steadily Nourished 
and increased from that time to the present. The receipts of 
the road, which were only $4500 in 1860, have increased to 
over $12,000 in 1867. 

The village of Sycamore is one of the most attractive of 
its size in the western country. It contains many fine resi- 
dences, and a population wealthy, enterprising, and remark- 
ably social. 

Among its leading citizens are the brothers Waterman, five 
of whom have, at times, resided here, and been among its 
most active business men, since the first settlement of the 
County. Mr. James S. Waterman, the first merchant in the 
place, and the first banker in the County, has become its 
wealthiest citizen, and his elegant mansion has ever been the 
seat of an hospitality almost unlimited. 

Of the Ellwood family of six sturdy brothers, noted for 
unbounded energy and enterprise, shrewdness and bonhomie, 
four have resided here, and two at De Kalb. Mr. Reuben 
Ellwood was a citizen of the place in 1838, but subsequently 
removed to New York, where he filled some important public 
positions. He was presented as the candidate of this County 
for Congress, in 1868. 

Hon. E. L. Mayo, a lawyer of marked ability, moved to 
this place from Vermont in 1842, has held many public offices, 
and was a candidate for Congress in 1854. 

Hon. D. B. James, formerly a lawyer in Lyndon, Vermont, 
removed to this place from California in 1852. He built a 
number of the best buildings in the place; has been an espec- 
ially active member of the Republican party of the County 
since its organization; was appointed Aid-de-Camp to Gov- 
ernor Oglesby, with the rank of Colonel, delegate to th< 
National Convention of 1864, and was chosen Judge of the 
County Court in 1865. 

General Daniel Dustin, formerly a physician of Lyndon, 


Vermont, removed to California in 1850; was a member of 
the Legislature of that State; moved to Sycamore in 1856; 
raised a company for Farnsworth's Cavalry in 1862; was 
chosen Colonel of the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry in 
1863; served two years as commander of a brigade, and made 
one of the most faithful and popular officers in the service. 

General Charles Waite, one of six worthy sons of Hon. 
Daniel Waite, of Sycamore, enlisted, at twenty-three years 
of age, as a private in the Twenty-Seventh Michigan In- 
fantry, fought his way up to the Colonelcy of that rough, 
ungovernable band of miners, whom he alone ever succeeded 
in reducing to proper discipline, was severely wounded in 
service in Virginia, and received the star of the Brigadier for 
gallantry displayed in the battle of the Wilderness. 

General Charles Stolbrand, a Colonel in the revolutionary 
forces of Sweeden, and an eminently skilful military officer, 
was engaged in making an abstract of titles to the land of this 
County when the war broke out. He raised a company of 
artillery in this County, which, under command of Captain 
John W. Lowell, did excellent service in the Second Illinois 
Artillery. General Stolbrand was speedily promoted to 
Chief of the Artillery in the Army of the Tennessee, and he, 
with General Tom Humphrey, of this County, bore the repu- 
tation of being the coolest, bravest officers in that army. He 
is now a resident of Beaufort, South Carolina. 

General E. F. Dutton enlisted, at twenty-two years of age, 
in Company F, of the Thirteenth Infantry, of which he was 
made First Lieutenant. In 1863 he was chosen Major of 
the One Hundred and Fifth, rose to the rank of Lieutenant- 
Colonel, and served through the war with that regiment. He 
was brevetted Brigadier for gallantry on the march to Atlanta, 
and in the battle of Goldsboro, North Carolina. 

Sycamore is credited on the State record with 307 men 
furnished for the suppression of armed rebellion. Many gave 
their lives to their country, and many have returned maimed 
and crippled ; but the record of casualties is not now attain- 

M. E. Church at Sycamore, 


Of the Supervisors of this town, Dr. James Harrington 
served from its organization in 1850 until 1856, when E. L. 
Mayo was elected. D. B. James succeeded him, serving in 
1857-58 ; James Harrington followed in 1859-60-61 ; Ros- 
well Dow in 1862-63-04; Samuel Alden in 1865-66; Henry 
Wood in 1867; and N. S. Cottreil in 1868. 

In 1858 the village of Sycamore was incorporated, and in 
accordance with the provisions of its charter, has been repre- 
sented upon the Board of Supervisors by the President of its 
Board of Trustees. These have been: For 1850, E. L. 
Mayo; 1860, C. M. Brown; 1861, Alonzo Ellwood ; 1802, 
C. O. Boynton ; 1863, Alonzo Ellwood ; 1864-65, Charles 
Kellum ; 1866, Luther Lowell ; 1867-68, C. O. Boynton 



It was on one mild day in October, 1835, that a party of 
emigrants, pushing rapidly northward from Ottawa, on the 
line of an Indian trail, and traveling after darkness had set 
in, suddenly, and to their surprise, found themselves in the 
midst of an Indian village, situated on what is now Section 
Three, in the town of Cortland. They halted for the night, 
and in the morning, pleased with the appearance of the coun- 
try, proceeded to make claims, and ultimately to build houses, 
and surround themselves with some of the comforts of the 
pioneers' home. 

The party consisted of George W. and Isaac Gandy, John 
and Perry Ellet, David Wood, and Henry Smith, with their 
families, who thus became the first settlers of this township. 
They lived for the winter in close and peaceful proximity to 
the Indians, a few of whom remained in the grove, and in the 
spring they were joined by a considerable number of new 
settlers. These were the Springs, Crossetts, Hale Perry, 
Norcutts, Alvin Dayton, Kites, Dowries, Osgoods, Ralph 
Wyman, John Champlin, Peter Young, and Elias Hartman. 
They all settled as near as possible to the borders of the Ohio 
Grove, which gained its name from the fact that most of the 
new comers were from Ohio, and which borders the eastern 
line of the township. 

A small grove in the centre of the town, which had the 
appearance of having strayed away from the main body of 
timber, and which, for this reason, was named Lost Grove, 
was claimed at an early date by James and Joseph Roberts, 
two old bachelors, who for many years entertained travelers 


in their little log house, fourteen feet square; but most of the 
remainder of the town remained unsettled and the property 
of the government until about 1852, when a number of dwell- 
ings were built on the open prairie, and the population of the 
town was considerably increased. A Baptist church was 
built near the grove during this year. 

About this time a little village of a half-dozen houses, with 
a tavern, a store, and the usual shops and dwellings, was 
commenced at Luce's Corners, a half-mile south of the present 
location of the village of Cortland; but most of the buildings 
were subsequently moved to the railroad station. 

The railroad was built in 1853, and a smart little village 
soon grew up around the station. But its prospects seem to 
have been not considered brilliant, for in the following year 
the railroad company bought the farm of Marcenus Hall, upon 
which the eastern part of the village now stands, at ten dollars 
per acre, and laid out a village upon it; and when, in the 
terrible storm of the following winter, Mr. S. L. Porter, one 
of their engineers, had his leg crushed, while endeavoring to 
force his engine through a snow-bank in this vicinit}% the 
company made him a present of the village. The Hersha 
farm, upon which Artlipp's and Croft's additions were laid 
out, was sold about this time at twenty-five dollars per acre. 
In 1856 a very lively village had been built up, inhabited 
by a smart, enterprising population, among whom were a good 
many young men, full of enterprise and full of fun. 

But the hard times of 1857 checked its prosperity, and the 
construction of the Sycamore and Cortland Railroad in 1858 
cut off some of the grain trade from the north. Its increase 
has not been rapid since that time. 

The population of the township in 1855 was 1182; in 1860, 
1298; and in 1865, 1324. Only the three towns of Somo- 
nauk, De Kalb, and Sycamore, have a larger population, or 
a larger amount of taxable property. 

The first name given the town was Richland. This was 
soon after changed to Pampas, a name suggested by J. R, 


Crossett, from the resemblance of its prairies to the pampas 
or plains of South America. In 1864 this name was changed 
by the Legislature to Cortland, the name of its village and 
postal station. 

The first school house in the town was a log hut, built in 
Ohio Grove about 1838, and the first teacher was Rev. Castle 
Churchill, who was succeeded by Miss Mary Ann Hamlin. 

In 1866 the spacious and elegant edifice, a view of which 
is here inserted, was built by the village of Cortland. Its 
cost was $7000. It is a conspicuous ornament to the town, 
and honors the enterprise and liberality of its people. 

Cortland gave liberally, of the best blood of her township, 
to the country, in the defence of the flag, when traitors assailed 
it. One hundred and thirty-four of her sons enlisted in the 
Union army, and the names of sixteen who lost their lives in 
the service have been preserved. These are : 

Ruthven and Alonzo Russell, Robert Close, W. Stark, and 
Charles Plopper, the date and place of whose death is not 
ascertained ; Spafibrd Deford, who died at Savannah, Georgia, 
January 20, 1865 ; John Young, at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, 
March 5th, 1864 ; Charles F. Bannister, at Alexandria, Vir- 
ginia, April 11, 1863 ; Charles V. Peck, at Ringgold, Geor- 
gia, March 27, 1864; Oliver Wilson, at Shiloh, July 6, 1862: 
Emery Marshall, at Beardstown, Kentucky, December 6, 
1862 ; George H. Gould, at Nashville, Tennessee, November 
4, 1853; T. D. Packard, at Shiloh, April 6, 1862; W. II. 
Rose, at Kingston, Georgia, January 6, 1864 ; and Morris 
R. Wilson, at Corinth, Tennessee, June 23, 1862. The last 
mentioned was but a lad of fifteen, when a rebel bullet ended 
his career. 

Among her townsmen who served most honorably, and suf- 
fered most severely, was Captain R. A. Smith. 

When an apprenticed lad in Chenango County, N. Y., he 
twice ran away to enlist in the Mexican war, but his regiment 
was not admitted to service. Removing to Cortland in 1856, 
he eno-ao-ed in the grain trade, and worked as a mason, until, 


at the first breaking out of the war, he raised a number of 
recruits, and enlisted in Company F, of the Thirteenth In- 
fantry. After two years of very hard service, during most 
of which time he commanded that company, the regiment was 
thrown into the terrible abyss of fire and death which met the 
first assault on Vicksburg; and there he lost his right arm, 
and was fearfully wounded in the thigh. 

Returning home, he was elected County Treasurer, which 
office he has filled by three successive re-elections, till the 
present time. 

The Supervisors of Cortland have been: For 1850— 51— 52, 
David F. Finley ; 1853, Austin llayden; 1854, David F. 
Finley; 1855-50-57-58, Horace S. Champlin; 1859-60-61, 
Alonzo L. Lovell; 1802, P. S. Coolidge; 1803-04-05, Jacob 
R. Crossett; 1800, Edwin Gilson; 1807-08, John Wright. 

The village of Cortland was incorporated in 1800, and T. 
T. Peck in 1807, and John King in 1868, have, jas President 
of its Board of Trustees, been members of the Board of Su- 

Cortland raised by taxation $12,103 for war purposes. 


The town of De Kalb, located near the centre of the 
County, is second to none other in the County in its natural 
advantages, and in its prospects for future growth and wealth. 

The surface of the town, like the remainder of the County, 
is mostly occupied by handsome rolling prairie; hut, unlike 
some others, it is favored with a handsome stream, — the head 
waters of one branch of the Kishwaukee, — and is liberally 
supplied with timber from an extensive grove bordering this 
stream, formerly known far and wide as Huntley's Grove. 

The first settlers of this township were John B. Collins and 
Norman C. Moore. Collins settled the farm now owned by 
Captain Burpee, and Moore made a claim a mile or two north 
of him. They came in the spring of 1 S: > ">, and during that 
summer all of the timbered land in the town was claimed. 
McClellan claimed the south end of the grove afterward held 
by Mr. Huntley. James Cox claimed a farm now owned by 
C. W. Marsh, and James Paisley the place on which some of 
his family now reside. 

There was a large Indian village at Coltonville, on the 
northern border of this township, but during this fall they 
were removed beyond the Mississippi. 

It was probably a, company of United States mounted 
troops, engaged in assembling these Indians at their rendez- 
vous at PawPaw Grove, preparatory to removal, that passed 
along the east side of the grove during this fall, and camped 
for the night on the site of the present village of De Kalb. 

While here, one of their number attempted to desert, and 
he paid McClellan a sum of money to secrete him; but being- 
threatened by the officer in command, McClellan gave him up 


again, and he was tied to the rear of the army wagon, and 
dragged on foot through the remainder of the route. The 
neighbors, indignant at McClellan's treachery, threatened to 
lynch him, and he was obliged to fly the country to secure 
his safety. 

In the autumn of 1835, Messrs. Jcnks & Co. claimed the 
land now occupied by Albert Schryvcr, damned the creek, 
built a mill, and projected a town in the vicinity. The 
streams were much larger then than now, and it was thought 
that the water-power would be of permanent value ; but a dry 
summer or two convinced them of their mistake, and they 
never completed their proposed village. 

In February, 1837, Mr. Russell Huntley, representing a 
company of capitalists, who designed to build mills and carry 
on farming, moved to the south end of the grove, and bought 
the claim of James Root, who had succeeded McClellan. 
Wild-cat money was plenty then, and claims sold at higher 
prices than they would bring ten years after. Mr. Huntley 
bought all of the south part of the grove, paying $5300 to 
the several claimants. His purchase embraced about five 
hundred acres of woodland, and as much of the prairie as he 
chose to call his own. As it seemed desirable, however, that 
each should know where his line was, he made an agreement 
with the Brodics, of Brodic's Grove, about ten miles west of 
him, that the division line between them should be half way 
between the two groves: and he made a similar verbal ar- 
rangement with the inhabitants of Shabbona Grove on the 

In the autumn of 183(3 was the first election held in the 
County. It was held in Captain Eli Barnes' house, in this 
town, and the voters came from all parts of the County. It 
was an election for Justice of the Teacc. Mr. Samuel Miller, 
of Squaw Grove, relates that ten dollars was sent down to 
him by one of the candidates to pay him for bringing up ten 
voters, and that these ten voters carried this election. It was 


probably the first ten dollars spent to carry an election in this 
County, but not the last, by thousands. 

After the first two years, settlers came in very rarely. 
Hard times came on, money became very scarce, the people 
grew poor; and in 184-3, when the land, for the claims to 
which they had paid such liberal prices, came in market, most 
of them found great difficulty in raising the money to enter 
it. As late as 1850, Mr. Huntley was offering half of the 
land upon which De Kalb village now stands to any man who 
would furnish $1.25 per acre to enter it. 

For nearly twenty years he kept an excellent tavern at 
this place, and in the busy season it was constantly crowded 
by teamsters from the Avest, as far as the Mississippi river, 
who were on their way to Chicago with grain. The proceeds 
of the load, oftentimes, did not pay the expenses of drawing 
to market. For this reason, thousands of bushels of excellent 
wheat raised in this town were fed to cattle without threshing. 
This poverty among the people continued until the railroad 
was built through, in 1853. 

In 1850 the township was organized, with the name of 
Orange, and Thomas M. Hopkins was chosen its first Super- 
visor. In that year the first store in the place was opened 
by J. M. Goodell, in one end of the dwelling now owned by 
Rufus Hopkins. In 1852, J. S. Waterman and Alvah Cart- 
wright started another, and they, with Goodell and Ruby's 
store, Huntley's tavern, and a blacksmith's shop, constituted 
the village in 1853, when the railroad was built, revolutioniz- 
ing the business affairs of the country. After this, a large 
and flourishing village was speedily built up at this place. Its 
progress was remarkable. Houses sprang up as by magic. 
The nei^hboringr farmers who visited it one month would 
hardly recognize the place when they visited it the next. 
Mr. Huntley sold part of his land to three directors of the 
railroad company, — Holland, Robinson, and Van Nortwick, — 
and they together laid out the village, and speedily sold the 
lots at good prices. Stores, shops, warehouses, hotels, and 


dwellings, filled up the village plat, and the evidences of taste 
and refinement were to he seen in its streets and dwellings. 
For several years it went by the name of Buena Vista. 

In 1855 its population was 557. It was eonfidently ex. 
pected that, owing to its central location and its being upon 
a railroad, it would soon be made the seat of justice for the 

The financial crash of 1857 impeded the progress of the' 
thriving little village. Money scarce, trade dull, credit gone, 
prices low. Like all new towns, it was settled by a population 
full of enterprise, but of small capital, and the destruction 
of confidence and depression of trade was a serious injury to 
ts progress. But its people were full of enterprise, courage 
and enthusiasm for the prosperity of their town. They taxed 
themselves heavily for all needed improvements, and worked 
with a will for the o-ood of their town. 

In 1860, a County Society for the promotion of agriculture 
and the mechanical arts was established, beautiful grounds 
selected and handsomely furnished, and flourishing annual 
fairs have ever since been held. 

In 1361, the elegant brick building was erected for a 
Graded School, — for many years the finest common-school 
building in any town of its size in the State. It was designed 
io cost $8000, but its total expense has been over $25,000. 
The first school house in the town was a small structure built 
of bass-wood logs, and roofed with shakes, which stood near 
the grove, and near the line of the railroad, and for many 
years served both as school house and church. 

In 1854, churches were built by both the Baptist ami 
Methodist societies; in 1860 the Catholics constructed a spa- 
cious church, and in 1864 the Sweedish population, a large 
number of whom had gathered around this place, built a 
small church, in which worship is conducted in the Sweedish 
form and language. A number of the most reputable citizens 
have embraced the Mormon faith, and the services of that 
sect have frequently been held in the place. 


In 1858 a newspaper, under the name of the Western 
World and Be Kalb Review, was published in De Kalb by 
Mr. Andrews. This was succeeded in 1860 by the Be Kalb 
Leader, edited by E. B. Gilbert; and this, in 1861, by the 
Be Kalb Times, edited by G. I). It. Boyd. In 1867 the 
Be Kalb Count// Neios was started, and now publishes a su- 
perior country journal. 

The first lawyer in the place was Marcus White, who com- 
menced practice in 1855. The first resident physician was 
Dr. Ilyslop. In 1859, Dr. Rufus Hopkins, of Sycamore, 
who had always had a considerable practice in that town, re- 
moved to the place, and as a physician, banker, and active 
man of business, has been a prominent actor in the affairs of 
the town. The first bank was established here in 1859, by 
J. R. Hamlin and E. T. Hunt. 

The four brothers Glidden, who first settled here in 1841, 
have been among its most worthy and active citizens. E. B. 
( rilbert, Esq., who came to Sycamore in 1847, and to De Kalb 
in 1852, was elected Justice in 1853, and by successive re- 
elections has ever since held that office. Harvey Thompson, 
J. M. Glidden, and Jabez L. Chccsbrough, have long been 
among the most popular and reliable grain dealers in the 
County. The brothers Isaac L. and Hiram Ellwood have 
been amono- its most active business men. B. K. Chandler 


has long been a merchant in whom all have confidence. It is 
such enterprising men as these, with the Vaughans, Smulls, 
Roberts, Millers, and others that might be mentioned, that 
have given tone and character to the town. 

The Supervisors of De Kalb have been : For 1850, Thomas 
M. Hopkins : 1851, Joseph F. Glidden ; 1852, Thomas M. 
Hopkins; 1853, Alonzo Converse; 1854, Luman Huntley; 
1855, Alonzo Converse; 1856, Marcus White; 1857, E. B. 
Young; 1858-59, Hiram Ellwood; 1860, Silas Tappan ; 
1861-62, J. F. Glidden; 1863, Harvey Thompson; 1864-65, 
Thomas M. Hopkins ; 1866, J. F. Glidden ; 1867, Harvey 
Thompson ; 1868, W. C. Tappan. 


The village was incorporated under a general act in 1856, 
and in 1860 by a special charter, which made the President 
of the Board of Trustees a member of the Board of Super- 
visors. This position lias been filled by A\ r . IT. Allen in 
1861-62; Silas Tappan in 1863; Leonard Morse in 1864; 
S. 0. Vaughan in 1865; E. B. Gilbert in 1866; and W. 11. 
Allen in 1867-68. 

De Kalb furnished 22o men for the war for the preservation 
of our nation from the armed rebellion. The story of their 
toils, their losses, their sufferings, and their triumphs, will be 
found in the record of the part that De Kalb County took in 
the war of the great rebellion. 

The population of De Kalb in 1855 was 1588 ; in 1860, 
1900: and in 1865, 1976. 


This town, situated far out upon the billowy prairie, remote 
from proves, and streams, and other attractions to the early 
settler, was one of the later-settled townships of the County. 
Its first inhabitant was Mr. Ezekiel Whitehead, who com- 
menced a farm in 1851. A large portion of the land was at 
this time in the hands of the government ; but was entered, 
during this and the following year, by C. C. Shepard, II. A. 
Mix, Mark Howard, and other speculators, who have since 
gained great wealth by the rise in their value. 

In 1854 the citizens of South Grove, which lies directly 
north of this town, petitioned the Galena Railroad Company, 
which had built the Dixon branch through the town, to estab- 
lish a station for their accommodation; and after some 
months' delay, the company acceded to the request. The 
station once established, settlers rapidly filled up the township. 
It had been a part of the town of ]>e Kalb, but in 1855, a 
sufficient number having moved in to give them a right to a 
separate town organization, a petition was presented to the 
Board of Supervisors, asking this privilege, which was granted; 
and the new town, under the name of Milton, embracing this 
township and one-half of that one south of it, was admitted 
into the Union. The village at the station was named Malta, 
and a thriving town rapidly grew up at this point. 

The name of Etna was, soon after its organization, substi- 
tuted in place of Milton, and this, a few years later, was 
changed to Malta, the name of its village and post-office. 

The financial storm of 1857, Avhich prostrated the value of 
every kind of property, and ruined the currency of the coun- 


try, reduced the vitality of this ambitious little village, and 
gave it a blow from which it was many years in recovering. 
Building was stopped; houses were vacant and valueless; 
merchants and grain dealers' failed; every body grew poor, 
and multitudes left the country. 

In 1857 a large steam mill was built, but it was never a 
profitable property; and four years later it was burned down, 
under circumstances that led to the suspicion that it was 
burned by the lessees. Suits growing out of this charge are 
still pending before the courts. 

In 1867, aided by a liberal subscription of the citizens of 
the village, Mr. Abraham Peters erected another large and 
substantial steam grist mill, which is now doing a good busi- 

Toward the close of the great war, Malta again acquired a 
fresh increase of growth and prosperity. The high prices of 
grain attracted settlers, and gave increased value to her new 
prairie lands. Money became plenty, business increased, new 
buildings were erected, real estate doubled in value, and sales, 
which for many years were impossible, now became frequent. 

Malta is now on the high tide of prosperity. The village 
is the natural center for a large extent of very rich country, 
which, filled up with the substantial farming population which 
now is rapidly centering there, will support a town of three 
or four times its present population. 

The first census of the town was taken in 1860, when it 
was found to have 620 inhabitants. This number, in 1865, 
had increased to 849, and is now probably over 1200. 

Malta furnished 94 soldiers for the war of the rebellion. 

Its Supervisors have been : For 1856, E. Whitehead ; 
1857-58, T. C. Wetmore; 1859-60-61, Henry Madden; 
1862-63-64-65, M. C. Dedrick ; 1866, G. W. Smiley ; and 
1867, D. F. Pease. 

In 18 — the Congregational church was organized, with 

Rev. as pastor. In 1867 the Baptist and 

Congregational societies each built handsome churches. 


Milan, the youngest of our sisterhood of towns, was born 
into the family in 1857. Its parents were Malta and Shab- 
bona, who each contributed three square miles to the endow- 
ment and fitting out of their newly-born sister. 

Mr. Lewis McEwen was the first inhabitant of Milan, and 
although a bachelor then, and for many years after, he may 
properly be called the father of the town. He came here in 
1852. At this time not a foot of the land in the township 
had been entered from government. lie built a small house, 
broke up his land, and for two or three years spent most of 
the winters in hunting. In the winter of 1853-54, more than 
one hundred deer were seen from his cabin door, and wolves 
were extremely troublesome. The deer disappeared as soon 
as the railroad was built. 

Benjamin Banfield moved into the town in 1852, and 
Reuben Dodd in the following winter. 

Most of the land of the township was "entered" in 1853. 
Before that time it was considered of no value, being so far 
removed from timber that purchasers thought it doubtful if it 
ever would be settled. Bat during the last five years its set- 
tlement has been very rapid. Nearly every acre is now occu- 
pied as a farm, and land sells at as high a price as in any part 
of the County. 

In 1853, (J union Hewitt entered nine sections in one day, 
with warrants worth eighty cents per acre. This land Avas 
purchased by settlers at from eight to thirteen dollars per 
acre, and all of the land in the town has now passed into the 
hands of actual residents. 

The School Section was sold in 1865, and produced a 


township school fund of over $8000. The first school house 
was built in the center of the town in 1855; but before that 
time schools had been kept in private houses. 

In the summer of 1868, a handsome two-story building 
was erected at the center, the upper part of which belongs to 
the township, and is used as a town hall and place of worship, 
while the lower story is used as a district school. 

A large colony from Norway own and occupy the south- 
west portion of the township, and constitute a very honest, 
industrious, frugal, and respectable population. 

The monotony of the prairies, which occupy the entire 
surface of this town, has of late been broken by miles of 
hedges of the rapid growing willow, which tend to diversify 
and beautify the landscape. 

Mr. Lewis McEwen, who stood godfather to the town at its 
first creation, has ever since been its Supervisor, except in 
1861, when Mr. John Banfield was elected. 

The population of Milan was 202 at the time its first census 
was taken, in 1800, and five years after had increased to 524. 
It now probably contains 800 souls. Its property is assessed 
at $158,206. It furnished 88 soldiers for the Union army in 
the late great war. 


Afton is jet a stripling in our family of towns. Its brief 
existence has been so little chequered with incident that it can 
hardly be said to have a history. It is one of those towns 
that, being far removed from natural groves, and rich only in 
a soil of unsurpassed fertility, were considered by the early 
settlers undesirable for farming purposes, and consequently 
remained unsettled. 

The emigrants from the heavily wooded Eastern States, 
accustomed to eight-rail Virginia fences, huge wood fires, and 
an abundance of timber for building, could not at first believe 
that farming could be carried on successfully without large 
tracts of woodland in the immediate vicinity of their cultivated 
fields; but they have discovered their mistake. No farms in 
the County are more profitable than those in Afton, and towns 
of like character, ten, fifteen, or twenty miles removed from 

Afton is one unbroken prairie, very undulating in its sur- 
face, with an abundance of gravelly knolls, and with some 
ledges of stone, which, however, have not yet been worked. 
It has one handsome stream. The head waters of the Little 
Uock Creek, a fine stream of pure water, burst from the 
ground on Section Fourteen, and run southeastwardly through 
Squaw Grove. 

This stream suggested the pleasing name adopted for the 
town. Mr. John A. Hayden, one of its first settlers, was a 
great admirer of the song, "Flow gently, sweet Afton," and 
while at work breaking up and preparing to cultivate his 
farm, he was continually singing it. He insisted upon calling 

J-4pill t& 

khaniRn I ^'^C- r** riff— ■ linn 1 1 . efi 















the stream "Sweet Afton," and this suggested the musical 
name for the town. 

Afton was organized in 18/34. Previous to that time the 
northern half had been attached to De Kalb, and the southern 
half to Clinton. Mr. W. R. Campbell was probably the first 
white resident of the place, and John A. Hayden the next. 
Other early settlers were Daniel Washburne, Timothy Pier- 
son, John McGirr, Benjamin Muzzy, Charles Ward, Fran?is 
Bemis, and Alex Folger. 

In the autumn of 1854, Mr. Ezekiel Noble, who, with Silas 
Tappan and Oscar Tyler, had just moved into /the place, 
erected temporary shanties, and commenced breaking their 
land, canvassed the township with a petition for its organiza- 
tion as a town, and obtained the signatures of twenty-three 
male inhabitants. It was admitted by the Board of Super- 
visors at their next session. 

At the election next spring, Mr. Noble was chosen Super- 
visor, and has ever since, by successive re-elections, held the 
same office. Timothy Pierson and Orson Pearl were elected 
Justices ; Sanford A. Tyler, Town Clerk ; Clark Glidden, 
Assessor and Collector. 

In 1855 the first school was held, in a private house be- 
longing to Mr. Goodell. It was kept by Mr. Lord. Next 
year the school section was sold, the town was divided into 
two school districts, and a good school house was built on the 
northeast corner of Section Twenty-Four, in District One, 
which comprised the east half of the town. In 1858 the 
town was divided into nine school districts, to which one has 
since been added. 

A spacious and beautiful church was built in 1807, by the 
sect called Second Adventists, — the only church in the place. 

The first elections were held at Sanford A. Tyler's house, 
on Section Fourteen. They have since then been held at the 
Center School House. 

Afton manfully did its part in the war of the rebellion. 
Eighty-one men went from that thinly populated town, to fill 


the ranks of the Union army. Its total population, by the 
census of 1860, was but 516. Fifty-nine men had volunteered, 
when, the necessities of the government calling for more men, 
a tax was levied upon the town, and seven more were procured. 
In the summer of 1864, an additional tax was voted upon the 
town, amounting in all to $14,000, and fifteen more recruits 
were enlisted. 

Among those who gave their lives in the defence of their 
country were Charles Elliot, Dempster Wheeler, Alexander 
Campbell, Emerson T. Knight, and Lewis Olverson, who went 
out in the One Hundred and Fifth Regiment, and L. Deforest, 
of the Eighth Cavalry. 

Among the leading citizens of Afton are Mr. Ezekiel Noble, 
a shrewd, intelligent New Yorker, who has always been active 
in its public affairs, and may be said to be the father of the 
town, and Mr. C. W. Broughton, one of the wealthiest and 
most extensive farmers of the County. 


Clinton is now one of the populous and prosperous towns 
of our County, but was not settled so early as those towns 
which were more favored with timbered lands. One small 
grove of about one hundred acres borders the Little Indian 
Creek, which has its head in the town; the remainder is 
handsome rolling prairie. 

In 1835, when old Deacon Pritchard came through this 
section of country, on foot and alone, prospecting for a home 
in the west, he found at this grove just the spot he desired, 
and he resolved to possess it; but returning next year with 
his family, after a journey of forty days by wagon from New 
York, he was disappointed by finding it claimed and occupied 
by Mr. 0. P. Johnson, who has given his name to the grove. 
Pritchard moved on to Grand de Tour, on Rock River; but 
eight years after, returned and bought the property, and upon 
it he and his sons, — among the worthiest and best citizens of 
the County, — have ever since resided. 

In 1843, nine families constituted the population of the 
town. These were the families of W. B. Fields, Parker 
Thomas, Alexander McNish, Silas Hines, John and James 
Walker, Preston Curtiss, William Robertson, and C. B. 
Whitford, most of whom still reside in the place. In 1845 
and 1846, came Shelburne J. and Tracy Scott, Felix and 
Baldwin Woodruff, and Sylvester Hall; and in 1847 and 
1848, when Shabbona's Grove (which is on the west line of 
this town) was sold by the old chief, and divided into lots by 
the wily speculator Gates, so that all could procure timber, a 
dozen more settlers made claims on the prairie, and became 


permanent inhabitants of the township. Among these were 
N. S. and Thomas J. Greenwood, Benjamin Matteson, William 
Sherman, Sylvester and Elbert Hall, J. L. Bailey, J. L. 
Mighell, Aruney Hill, and John Secor. 

In 1850, when the township organization was adopted, the 
boundaries of Clinton included- one-half of Victor and of 
Afton, as well as its present territory. In 1853 it was re- 
duced to its present dimensions. 

The commissioners appointed to organize and give names 
to the towns found that the citizens of four of the original 
thirteen had selected the name of Clinton, and it was awarded 
to this town by lot. The Scotts and a uumber of other set- 
tlers had migrated from the vicinity of Clinton, in New York, 
and retained an attachment to the name. 

In 1855 the population of Clinton had increased to 807 ; 
in 1860 to 1000 ; and in 1805 to 1010. 

In 1847 the first school was opened in the township, and 
was taught by Mr. H. C. Beard. 

The Baptists and Presbyterians organized the first churches, 
and for several years had regular services, which were well 
attended. But the Methodists have since been in the ascend- 
ancy, and in 1807 built an elegant Gothic church, near the 
center of the town, — one of the finest church edifices in the 

Claim wars were not unfrequent in the early history of the 
town, and the sacredness of the claimants' rights was rigidly 
enforced by the people. As late as 1851, some of the settlers 
had not yet paid for their lands, but held them by claim only. 
In that year occurred the last of the claim wars. One Hugh 
McKerg had deeded some land claimed by John Secor. The 
people of the town rose in a body, and chose a committee to 
demand of him a release of the land, threatening to destroy 
his property if he refused. But Hugh's heart was hardened, 
and he refused to let the land go, but watched his property 
by day and by night. After several nights' watching, he 
ventured to sleep; but woke to find his fences on fire, his well 


filled up, and much of his moveable property carried oft'. He 
found it politic to settle that claim without further delay. It 
would hardly seem that land at that time was worth fighting 
for. It kept the people, however hard they worked, yet mis- 
erably poor. They raised fine crops; uld settlers speak of 
having raised forty-two bushels of choice winter wheat to the 
acre, but it brought them little money. When they had car- 
ried it sixty miles to market, over roads almost impassable, it 
sometimes failed to bring enough to pay the teamsters' bills. 
It is as easy to raise five hundred dollars now from a farm as 
it was to raise fifty in years from 1840 to 1850. 

About one person in nine of the total population of Clinton 
enlisted in the Union army during the war of the rebellion. 
She sent 111 men, and raised by taxation and contribution 
$13,746 for war purposes. 

The names of those who lost their lives in that war were: 

Jonathan Morris, who died at Tunnel Hill, January 26, 1863. 

Egbert Matteson, at Louisville, Ky., November 19, 1862. 

M. C. Kirkpatrick, at home, April 10, 1863. 

Seeley Simpson, at Atlanta, August 5, 1865. 

Henry Kellogg, at Bowling Green, November, 1862. 

James Low, at Gallatin, March 3, 1863. 

Ashael Childs, at LaGrange, Tenn. 

C. Rose, Jr., at Camp Butler, January 19, 1862. 

Corydon Heath, at Milliken's Bend, July, 1862. 

Alfred Hodgekin, at Meriden, Miss., August 7, 1864. 

Charles Nears, in Virginia, June, 1864. 

E. A. Pritchard, at home, July 29, 1865. 

The latter, a Captain in Company II, of the Thirteenth 
Infantry, was a bright example of the Christian soldier. A 
native of Malone, N. Y., he moved with his father's family to 
Clinton in 1845, pursued the study of law at Aurora ami 
Cincinnatti, and obtained a good law practice at Aurora; but 
impelled by motives of purest patriotism, he left his young 
family at the first outbreak of the war, served for three years 
most honorably in the gallant old Thirteenth, fighting its 


every battle; but lost his health in the service, and returned, 
to fall a victim to consumption, just when the people of De 
Kalb County were about to elect him to an honorable civil 
office. He was, — in intelligence, in culture, in every manly 
virtue, — one of the very foremost men of our County. 

Reuben M. Pritchard, his brother, a gentleman of ability 
and high integrity, has been for six years Supervisor of the 
town, and one of the leading citizens of the County. 

Charles Wesley and William Wallace Marsh, who settled 
in Clinton in 1850, have gained both fame and fortune by the 
invention of the famous Marsh Harvester. The first machine 
was used and first patent obtained in 1858. The first made 
for sale were used in 1861, when twenty-five were manufac- 
tured. Five thousand will be built for the harvest of 1869, 
and the admirable invention promises to supercede all other 
modes of harvesting; grain. 

The Supervisors of Clinton have been: For 1850, Reuben 
Pritchard; 1851, James R. Eastman; 1852, Arunah Hill; 
1853, C. B. Whitford; 1851, Arunah Hill; 1855, Reuben 
Pritchard; 1856, Reuben M. Pritchard; 1857,0. A. Tubbs; 
1858-59, N. S. Greenwood; 1860-01-62, R. M. Pritchard, 
1863-64, W. C. Macey; 1865, R. M. Pritchard; 1866, J. 
L. Mighell ; 186T-68, Robert Humphrey. 


Pierce is a prairie town, remote from woodland. The head 
waters of Big Rock Creek rise in the eastern part of the town, 
bursting from the side of a natural elevation sixty feet above 
the lowlands near it. The spring is impregnated with sulphur. 

The northern portion of the town is very undulating, the 
southern portion very level. Its soil is particularly adapted 
to wheat, and for the past eight years it has probably produced 
more of this cereal than any other town in the County. The 
towns of Pierce and South Grove have been the principal 
wheat-growing towns of the County; and although it has been 
the fashion to decry the raising of wheat as an unprofitable 
business, yet the people of these towns have in ten years been 
elevated, — principally by the production of this crop, — from 
a condition of poverty and destitution to comparative inde- 

Three-fourths of the population of Pierce are natives of 
Germany and Ireland. A considerable portion of the Ger- 
mans are, however, from Pennsylvania, but speak the German 
language, and preserve the German customs. The only 
church in the town is a Lutheran church, in which, for ten or 
twelve years, a German minister has been maintained, and 
religious services conducted in the German language. The 
Germans occupy the level plain in the southeastern portion of 
the town, while the Irish are principally in the rougher land 
of the north. They are generally an industrious and econom- 
ical population, who came here twelve or fifteen years ago 
with nothing, but have now grown independent, if not wealthy. 
They are fast buying out the farms of the adjoining American 


settlers, and promise soon to monopolize the whole township. 
They are a prolific race, and raise more babies to the acre 
than any other town in the County ! 

The first settler of Pierce was Elder Nathan Wilcox, who 
made a farm in the northern part of the town in 1848. In 
1850, Harrison and Horace S. Champlin bought 1100 acres 
in this and the adjoining town of Afton, and running thirteen 
breaking teams, they broke up over 600 acres during that 
summer. Their friends called them crazy for settling so far 
from woodland, and predicted that they would not see that 
section of the County settled for thirty years, if ever. There 
was then not a house between them and the Somonauk tim- 
ber, ten miles south. Levi and Moses Hill at that time re- 
sided in this town, and during the same season came Thomas 
Ilalloran, P. Home, P. Dunn, L. Ilennegan, John Ferrick, 
the Butlers, and the Dillons. 

In the eastern part of the town the German settlement 
was started by Christian Myers, Henry Ramer, Josiah Jacob, 
and George Eberly. Most of the land was "entered" in 
1852, and the remainder was bought up in the following year. 

The School Section was sold in 1857 at $1.25 per acre ; 
but the purchasers were an improvident population, who failed 
to pay even the interest upon their purchases, and the land 
reverted back to the school fund, and was again sold in 1858 
for from $5 to $6 per acre. All predicted that the latter 
purchasers would fail to pay, as their predecessors had done. 
No man, they argued, could afford to pay so large a price. 
It was as hard to raise $100 then as to raise $1000 now. 
But that land is now worth $40 per acre, and the purchasers 
have grown rich upon it. 

For many years the interest upon the fund created by this 
sale paid all the expenses of the schools. The first school 
was kept in the German settlement, and was opened in 1853. 

This section of country was at first included in Somonauk 
precinct, subsequently in Orange precinct, and before the 
township organization was adopted, was incorporated with 


Cortland (or Pampas) in Richland precinct. Until 1853 tlie 
north half was attached to Pampas, and the south half to 
Squaw Grove. In that year it was organized into a township, 
and named Pierce, in honor of the President. The name was 
selected hy Mr. Champlin and that jolly eccentric, George 
W. Kretsinger. 

The majority of the population of this town were not en- 
thusiastic in favor of the war; but when a draft was made, 
they promptly raised nearly $11,000, and filled their quota; 
$4500 of this sum being contributed by subscriptions of the 
citizens, and $6000 borrowed upon a note signed by twenty 
of the wealthy towns-people. This sum was subsequently 
paid by a tax upon the town. To the two last men procured 
as substitutes $1400 was paid by the town, in addition to 
$600 of County bounty and the same by the United States 
government; and both of these substitutes deserted as soon 
as they reached Chicago. The total number of men furnished 
was 100. 

The population of the town in 1855 was 667 ; in 1860, 
945; in 1865, 975. 

The first Supervisor of Pierce was II. S. Champlin, who 
served in 1853-54. He was succeeded by C. M. Ilumistor, 
who served till 1860, when B. Milnemow was elected. S. 
Denton filled the office in 1861; Thomas Gormley in 1862-6-3; 
N. S. Cottrell in 1864; G. W. Slater in 1865-66; and C. 
M. llumiston in 1867-68. 



Squaw Grove was probably the first township settled in 
De Kalb County. In the summer of 1834 one Hollenbeck, 
who lived near Ottawa, made a journey into this terra incog- 
nita as far as the present town of Sycamore, and on his return 
made a claim to the fine grove in this town. This he called 
Squaw Grove, because he found here, alone, a large number 
of squaws, whose dusky partners had gone on a hunting ex- 
pedition. He made his claim at the north side of the grove 
where Mr. Oscar Tanner now resides, and this was probably 
the first land claimed in the County. 

He did not remain on his new claim, but, returning to 
Newark, in La Salle County, told such a flattering tale of 
the charms of this newly discovered country, that William 
Sebree, an old Virginian with a large family, who was looking 
for a place to settle, started at once to possess it. 

Jn September, 18-34, he reached the spot, and, camping 
down in the midst of the Indians, he built a temporary shel- 
ter of crotches and poles, which he covered with bark taken 
from their forsaken wigwams; and there housed his family 
until he could construct a small log house for the winter, 
which was now rapidly approaching. 

It was a very cold winter. When he went on Christmas 
day to cut the slough grass for his famishing cattle, he had 
his ears and nose frozen. The family lived principally upon 
deer and prairie fowl for the first six months. The latter 
game were not so numerous as they were in after years, when 
grain fields were more plenty; but wolves abounded, and 
were very troublesome, snatching up everything eatable that 
chanced to be left out of doors. 


A man name! Kobson lived this fall in a log cabin at the 
crossing of Somonauk Creek, a few miles south, but aban- 
doned the place at the approach of winter, and left Sebree 
the only white inhabitant of this section of country. 

In the following spring a hoosier, named Leggett, claimed 
and settled upon the farm long afterward occupied by the 
Wards; and in October, 1835, Mr. Samuel Miller, a Ken- 
tuckian, moved to the grove, and commenced a farm. Jacob 
Lee and John Easterbrooks came in January, 183(3, and 
William Ward in the autumn following. 

The new comers lived in the most primitive manner. Most 
of them had cattle, horses, sheep, and swine, and Sebree re- 
joiced in the possession of a pair of hand mill-stones, with 
which the settlement all ground the corn that they raised. 
They made clothing from the wool of their sheep. For three 
years the only plow in the place was one owned by Sebree, 
and made with a wooden mould board. They broke up the 
prairie, sowed oats, and planted sod corn; and in the fall of 
1830, Miller went with four yoke of cattle carrying thirty 
bushels of oats to Chicago. These he sold for fifty cents a 
bushel, returning with salt and boots for the settlement. 

Their nearest neighbors at the north were upon the banks 
of the Kishwaukee, twenty miles distant, and in 1835 they 
went, as a neighborly act, to raise the first log house in that 
country, on W r illiam A. Miller's claim in Kingston. 

Many of the first settlers still remain upon their land, and 
have grown rich with the rise in the value of lands, and from 
the results of their industry. 

Mr. Miller, who paid his first tax in 1837, to 13. F. Fridley, 
and paid sixty-two and-a-half cents, now has the doubtful 
pleasure of paying yearly over $200 in taxes; and his prop- 
erty, then worth $000 or $800, would now sell for $20,000. 
The Sebrees, Wards, Lees, and other families, have been 
equally fortunate. They have lived through times of great 
destitution, but have been rewarded with the possession of 


The first child born in the town was John Miller. The 
first death was that of the energetic and industrious old Mrs. 

The first school was taught in Mr. Lee's house, by a lady ; 
and in the winter Mr. Cleveland, a farmer of the town, taught 
in the same place. In 1838, a log school house was built 
in the grove, in which Mr. James II. Furrnan kept an excel- 
lent school. There are now nine school districts, in each of 
which are handsome and convenient school houses. There is 
no church edifice in the town. A store, a tavern, a black- 
smith's and a shoemaker's shop, constitute the little village. 

The town is now all settled, mostly by farmers of wealth, 
whose handsome farm houses and barns indicate the possession 
of taste, as well as w r ealth, and excite the admiration of the 
traveler. The assessed valuation of the property of the town 
in 1868 was $242,290, which is a larger amount, in propor- 
tion to its population, than any other town in the County. 

The population in 1865 was 515; in 1860, 795; in 1865, 
679. Ninety-three men were furnished by this town for the 
war of the great rebellion. 

The Supervisors of the town have been: For 1850-51-52, 
A. L. lleminway; for 1853-54-55-56, W. C. Tappan ; for 
1857-58, Fhilo Slater; for 1859, W. U. Tappan ; for 1860- 
61, Philo Slater; for 1862-63, W. C. Tappan; for 1864, D. 
C. Winslow; for 1865-66-67-68, C. II. Taylor. 


PawPaw is the southwest corner town of De Kalb County. 
Most of its surface is occupied by rolling prairie, — some por- 
tions of it rather flat, yet none so much so as to render it 
unfit for the plow. There is no waste land in the township, 
and its deep, black soil, resting over a subsoil of clay, is 
extremely productive. The Big Indian Creek and its tribu- 
taries, which run through the township in various directions, 
furnish a good supply of pure, running water. Ross Grove, 
Coon Grove, and a portion of PawPaw Grove, lie in this 
town, and supply its inhabitants with a considerable portion 
of their fencing and fuel. These, and other natural advan- 
tages, attracted those seeking homes in the West at a very 
early date. 

The first settlers in this township arrived in the autumn of 
1834. David A. Town came first, and was soon after joined 
by Edward Butterfield and Benjamin Harris. In the family 
of Mr. Harris was his aged father, Benoni Harris, a Method- 
ist clergyman, who immediately began to preach the doctrines 
of the Cross to the few scattered settlers, who gathered to- 
gether from great distances, coming on foot, on horseback, 
and with ox teams, to hear the word. 

A plain marble slab, erected on the east side of PawPaw 
Grove, and bearing Masonic emblems, marks the last resting 
place of this pioneer minister in De Kalb County. He died 
at the age of eighty-four. 1 1 is wife, Thankful, whose remains 
repose beside him, was the first white person buried in this 

In the summer of 1835, several additional families moved 


into the township, among them David A. Town, Mr. Baldwin, 
and Mr. Ross, who first settled and gave name to Ross Grove. 
PawPaw Grove took its name from the abundance of pawpaw 
apples found there, and which grow there to this day — a fruit 
small, juicy, and luscious, found nowhere else in this vicinity. 

At this grove the celebrated Shabbona, chief of the Pota- 
wattamies, with his tribe, was accustomed to make long stays. 
The old inhabitants say he about divided his time between 
this and Shabbona's Grove. Here was their burying ground 
for common Indians, and the place where, between two half 
logs, dug out in the center, they stood up their noted dead in 
the crotches of trees. Here, too, lived the chief AVabonsie, 
concerning whom but few of the oldest citizens knew anything, 
and they but little, as he soon disappeared. 

For some services in the Indian war, the government n-ave 
a reservation at this "rove to one Le Clair, a half-breed 
Frenchman. Most of this is in Lee County. 

Game was found quite plentiful at that early date. Deer, 
prairie wolves, wild cats, and an occasional bear, with wild 
turkeys, geese, ducks, and prairie chickens, were the principal 

The first white child born was Caroline, daughter of Rus- 
sell and Roxana Town, in the spring of 183G, now the wife of 
James Kern. 

PawPaw Grove has the reputation of having been, during 
early times, one of the principal rendezvous of the horse- 
thieving and counterfeiting fraternity. Wyram, or "Bogus," 
Gates, John Bryant, Bill Rogers, and one Webber, with 
others, who resided at a small grove west of PawPaw, gained, 
by means of the suspicious circumstances which surrounded 
them, the reputation of belonging to that gang, and of pro- 
curing by these means those large amounts of money which 
their neighbors saw them to possess, and knew no other way 
to account for their possessing. 

A citizen relates that, coming on horseback from the north, 
he endeavored to relieve his lonely way by overtaking two 
horsemen in advance. But the faster he rode, still faster 


rode they, till the pursuit became a chase, and they hid in the 
woods. The horses were next day found in Gates' barn, the 
men arrested, tried, and sent to the penitentiary, from whence 
they soon escaped. 

Bill Rogers was a marked character. He was bold as a 
lion, tall, and straight as an Indian. lie sometimes acted as 
detective of criminals, and sometimes, it is said, in the char- 
acter of principal. An exciting story is told of his arrest of 
a huge, powerful negro, Avho had hitherto defied all efforts to 
capture him. Rogers met him on the prairie, when both were 
unarmed, and after a fight, lasting over an hour, succeeded in 
pinioning his arms, handing him over to the officers, and secur- 
ing the large reward offered for his capture. 

Rogers was the contractor to remove the Indians from this 
country to their new homes west of the Mississippi. Five or 
six years ago, an early citizen of this County, crossing the 
plains to California, was astonished to meet him far beyond 
civilization, dressed in Indian costume, and mounted on a wild 
mustang with long hair and beard as white as snow, still hale 
and hearty, and still a pioneer. 

All of this class of population moved from the grove, far- 
ther to the west, upon the approach of the refining influences 
of civilization. 

Ten or twelve years after, two of the new settlers discovered 
on the prairie a buried deposit of some eight hundred dollars 
in silver coin, which it was surmised had been hidden there 
by one who had been many years imprisoned in the peniten- 

In 1850 the township organization was adopted, and the 
first town meeting was held at the residence of Shadrac Bas- 
ley. Sixty votes were cast, and Pierpont Edwards was elected 
Supervisor; George V. Miners, Town Clerk; Stanley Rug- 
gles, Assessor; W. J. Merritt, Collector; William Shepardson 
and Daniel Rexford, Justices of the Peace. The Supervisors 
subsequently chosen were: Pierpont Edwards in 1851; Wil- 
liam Shepardson in 1852 ; Pierpont Edwards in 1853 ; Wil- 


Ham Shepardson in 1854; Robert Hampton in 1855-56-57- 
58-59; Alonzo Dole in 1860-61; Robert Hampton in 1862- 
63-64-65-66^67; and K II. Powers in 1868. 

Hon. William Shepardson and Hon. Robert Hampton have 
represented the district in the State Legislature. 

As the population increased, and the poverty usually ac- 
companying new settlements began to disappear, and after the 
broad prairies had, to a considerable extent, been converted 
into farms, the people began to turn their attention to their 
educational interests. Accordingly, in the summer of 1854, 
a building was erected at South PawPaw, standing on the line, 
one-half in De Kalb and one-half in Lee County, for a semi- 

A kind of rivalry sprang up at East PawPaw, so that, 
during the same summer, a similar building was also erected 
there. Soon after, the same spirit erected a third building at 
West PawPaw, in Lee County. So there were three semina- 
ries, occupying the three angles of a nearly equilateral trian- 
gle, the sides of which were about two miles. Of course, they 
destroyed each other, by dividing the patronage that should 
have been received by one ; and all ultimately became common 

Later, in the summer of 1866, a second seminary was built 
at East PawPaw, which is now (1868) in operation as such. 

The first church was built at Ross Grove, by the United 
Presbyterian church, in 1861. There are at present three in 
the town, — a second one near Ross Grove, and the third at 
East PawPaw. 

The population of PawPaw in 1855 was 944 ; in 1860, 
1007; in 18G5, 954. 

PawPaw sent 186 men to crush out the slaveholders' rebel- 
lion. Most of them went into Captain Terry's Company, of 
the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry, into the Fourth and 
Seventeenth Cavalry, the Fifty-Second, Thirty-Fourth, Sev- 
enty-Fifth, Eighty-Eighth, and the One Hundred and Second 
Infantry regiments. They were men who did the hard fight- 



ing, and but a single pair of shoulder-straps was awarded to 
the soldiers of the town. 

Of the fifteen citizens of PawPaw who went out in Com- 
pany I, of the Fourth (Colonel Dickey's) Cavalry, five, who 
were of the best men of the place, gave their lives to their 
country. Three of these were of the highly respected family 
of Hydes, and each left a wife and two children. 

Lycurgus Hyde was killed on a reconnoissance in Tennes- 
see; Elliot L. Hyde was killed at Coffeeville, Mississippi, 
December -5th, 1862; Edwin Thomas, brother-in-law of the 
two former, died at Pittsburg Landing, two weeks before that 
great battle. Other members of that regiment, who died 
martyrs to the cause, were Henry Doty and Henry Jones. 

John Densmore Dole, of the Thirty-Fourth Infantry, fell 
at the battle of Stone River, December 31, 1862, a rebel 
bullet piercing his brain. He was a youth of fine promise, 
who left his preparation for college at the call to arms, and 
after doing gallant service as a brave soldier, gave his life to 
his country. His body was recovered, through the entreaties 
of his mother to General Rosecranz, and was buried by Spar- 
tan Lodge of Odd Fellows, at PawPaw, February 10, 1863. 




The town of Victor was organized in 1853. For many 
years previous it had been, with Clinton and half of Afton, 
in one town organization, which held its town meetings in 
Deacon Pritchard's large barn until the school house was 
built, near by, when they were convened at that place. 

It was one of the prairie towns, remote from woodland, and 
consequently was not occupied by settlers until those sections 
of the country which were better favored by timber had passed 
out of the hands of the United States, and could not be pur- 
chased at "government price." In 1847 and 1848 some of 
the lands were first entered, and during the next five years it 
was all taken up. 

Among the first settlers were: Jeremiah Mulford, — first 
post-master at Van Buren, and who named the post-office 
after his favorite President, — W. H. Keene, ArunaBeckwith, 
James Green, Newton Stearns, Peleg Sweet, Jerome Baxter, 
George N. Stratton, Simon Snydam, II. C. Beard, and W. 
R. Prescott. 

When the railroad was built, in 1851, there was a large 
influx of new settlers. Many Irish and Germans purchased 
lands, and a considerable colony of Norwegians soon moved 
in. These are now among the most thriving and prosperous 
of its townspeople. There is now no land in the town that is 
not occupied by actual residents. 

Ross Grove and Shabbona Grove furnish some of its people 
with timber, but most of them own no woodland. They pur- 
chase coal from Kewanee for fuel, and lumber from Michigan 
for fencing and building. The Little Indian Creek waters 
the township. 


There is no village in the town. Leland, a thriving railroad 
village in La Salle County, about one mile and a-half south 
of the south line of the town, is the principal center for the 
trade of its people, and for those conveniences and accommo- 
dations which villages furnish. 

The first school house in the place was built in 1850, by 
Mr. Newton Stearns, on Section Eight. The school section 
was sold in 1855. 

In 1855 the population of Victor was 399; in 1800, 746 ; 
in 1865, 835. 

This town gave 103 soldiers to the war of the rebellion, and 
taxed itself $10,858 for war purposes. 

Those who lost their lives in the service were : Ferdinand 
Van Derveer, who died at Louisville, Kentucky, March 30, 
1865; E. T. Pierce, at Alexandria, Virginia, April 23, 1861; 
C. T. Bond, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, March 17, 1865; 
C. Pi. Snydam, at Alexandria, Virginia, January 26, 1862. 

The Supervisors of Victor were: For 1853, Benjamin 
Darland ; 1854-55-56, Samuel Lord ; 1857, George N. 
Stratton; 1858-59-60, H. C. Beard; 1861-62-63-64, J. S. 
Van Derveer; 1865-66, H. C. Beard; 1867-68, W. R. 


The town of Somonauk for ten years past has contained a 
larger population, and a larger amount of taxable wealth, 
than any other in the County. It occupies the southeastern 
portion of the County. Its surface is rather level; it has a 
good supply of timber, and is well watered by Somonauk 
Creek, a handsome stream, which turns two mills. 

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad runs diago- 
nally through the southern portion of the town, and upon it, 
four miles apart, but within the township, are the thriving 
villages of Sandwich and Somonauk. 

In this town the first white man's habitation built in the 
County was erected. It was a small log house, built in the 
spring of 1834, on the bank of Somonauk Creek, and was 
used as a station house on the mail route between Chicago 
and Galena, by way of John Dixon's ferry, which route was 
first started during this year. The house was abandoned in 
the autumn, was used during the winter by one Robinson, 
and next year was kept as a tavern by James Root. It was 
afterwards occupied by John Easterbrooks, and subsequently 
became the property of the Beveridge family. 

In 1835, a number of families moved into the town, and 
claimed the fine timber land upon the borders of the stream. 
Among them were Dr. Arnold, Joseph Sly, Thomas Brookes, 
and Simon Price. 

In 1839, there were about thirty houses in the township. 
Among them were two taverns, one kept by John and Henry 
Lane, the other by Mr. Hummell. Robert Sterrett had a 
mill erected this year; Mr. Easterbrooks kept the post-office 
upon the Beveridge place; and among the householders upon 

Town o£ soMonauk. ">17 

the east of the creek were: Burrage Hough, Frank Dale, 
Joseph Sly, Frederick Witherspoon, Hubbard, -Joseph, and 
Thomas Latham, Harvey Jolcs, George S. Pierson, Captain 
William Davis, Alvin Hyatt, David Merritt, and Francis 
Divine. On the west of the creek were: Mr. Burchim, Owen 
and Simon Price, Dr. Thomas Brooks, William Poplin, Con- 
way B. Rhodes, Amos Harmon, and Messrs. Frisby, Dobbins, 
Bliss, and Townsend. 

The settlers were all poor. Their dwellings were nearly 
all of logs, covered with shakes, and floored with puncheons. 
Many of them were ill constructed, cold and comfortless. 
This was a sickly season, and in many of the little cabins the 
puncheon floor was at times covered with the beds of those 
suffering from various illnesses, leaving hardly enough of well 
persons to take proper care of the sick. The wealthiest 
among them hardly had a sufficiency of comfortable clothing. 
Every body was shaking with ague, and the new comers, most 
of whom were accustomed to the comforts and luxuries of life 
in their eastern homes, felt that the hardships of frontier life 
in the new settlements were severe indeed. Nothing that 
they produced was saleable, except winter wheat, and although 
they got fine crops of this cereal, it hardly paid the heavy 
expense of drawing it to the Chicago markets, over sixty 
miles of almost trackless prairie, and through the unbridged 

The land sale in 1843, when this section of country came 
in market, and when their farms must be paid for or lost, 
drained the township of nearly every dollar remaining, and 
left the people poor indeed. Many a fine claim of timbered 
land was given away to friends who were able to "enter" it, 
and most of the prairie land remained the property of the 
•zovernment till about the year 1850. But the settlers main- 
tained the kindliest feelings among each other, and aided one 
another with a generosity that is now most gratefully remem- 

They met for worship at the school houses, and their spirit- 


ual necessities were ministered to by Father Abram Woolston, 
a Methodist preacher, a good surveyor, and a shrewd man of 
business, who boasted, as not the least of his many accom- 
plishments, that he could kill and dress a four hundred pound 
hog in fifty-seven minutes. 

Father Lumrey, an Episcopal Methodist, was another favor- 
ite preacher, and Joseph Sly's comfortable cabin was always 
hospitably open to as many preachers as could make it con- 
venient to stop with him. 

David Merritt, the post-master at Frceland Corner, came 
regularly to the meetings, bringing his mail in his hat; and 
much shrewd financiering was often required to raise the 
twenty-five cents in postage that was required to obtain the 
letter from his custody. 

In 1851 the railroad, — that great life-giving stimulant to 
the impoverished West, — was built through the township, and 
with the thunder of the iron horse came the advantages of a 
market for produce at the doors of the producers, free access 
for the population of the world to its fertile acres, and 
the conversion of the rich waste into fertile and profitable 

In a few months, every acre of land in the township was 
taken up by settlers or speculators, and the population rapidly 
increased. A railroad station was at once established at 
Somonauk village, and for a year or more it was the only 
station in the town. 


In the fall of 1852, William Fatten, Washington Walker, 
and Lindsay Carr, farmers in the neighborhood of the present 
thriving village of Sandwich, called a mass meeting of the 
citizens of Newark, then a lively village six miles south, upon 
which occasion a committee was chosen to petition the railroad 
company to establish a station for their accommodation. At 
this time, Mr. J. II. Furman made a census of the citizens 
who would probably use this station, and reported one hundred 
and fifty at the south and fifty at the north of the railroad. 
The company consented to stop trains when flagged. The 


neighbors contrived to have every one who could raise the 
necessary funds take a trip as frequently as possible; they 
ran a carriage to Newark daily; and, in a few months, they 
succeeded in inducing a belief that it was a good point for 
travel, and it was made a regular stopping place, with the 
name of Newark Station. 

Mr. Almon Gage, the first proprietor of the land upon 
which the station was built, offered lots to all who would build 
upon them; and A. R. Patten, James Clark and Myrlin Car- 
penter availed themselves of the offer, and became the first 
inhabitants of the village. James Clark built the first house, 
— a large, rambling one-story structure, known as the Done- 
gana House. 

Numerous additions to the village were made in the follow- 
ing year, and in 1855 a great impetus was given to the place 
by the establishment of a manufactory of agricultural machin- 
ery by Hon. Augustus Adams, Senator for this district. It 
has since grown more rapidly in trade and population than 
any other village in the County. In 1860 its population w T as 
952, and it is now estimated at 1800. It has been several 
times ravaged by destructive conflagrations, but has speedily 
been rebuilt more substantially than before. 

In 1865, 300,000 bushels of wheat were shipped from this 
station, and one grain dealer paid $450,000 for grain pur- 
chased. The manufacture of agricultural machinery has 
constantly increased, and in 1867 the original company was 
merged into a stock association, with a capital of $75,000, 
which has since been enlarged to $125,000. It employs 
eighty men, and has proved very remunerative to the stock- 

In 1856 a bank was established by Mr. M. B. Castle, which 
is still in existence; and from an exchange business of fifty 
dollars the first year, has now grown into a large and flourish- 
ing institution. Mr. J. II. Carr opened the first store in the 
place; Mr. G. W. Culver and Robert Patten the first lumber 


In 1857, William L. Dempster started a weekly newspaper, 
— The People s Press, — which was discontinued six months 
after. The Prairie Home, published in 1859, soon met the 
same fate. The Sandwich Netvs was subsequently issued 
bi-monthly by James Higbee, and afterwards made a weekly, 
with J. II. Sedgwick as editor. He was succeeded by Mr. 
James II. Furman, one of the first settlers and most substan- 
tial farmers of that town; and, under the name of The Gazette, 
it is now the largest paper in the County. 

The first church in the township was that of the United 
Presbyterians, or Seceders, which was orgmized in 1844, 
with nineteen members, and with Rev. 11. W. French as pas- 
tor. It now has two hundred and thirty-five communicants. 
Their place of worship is at Freeland Corners. The first 
church built at Sandwich was that of the Baptists, in 185-3; 
the second, the Methodist, in 1854; the third, the Presbyte- 
rian, in 1855; the fourth, the Congregationalists, in 1864, 
^they had previously worshipped in a small chapel) ; the fifth 
and sixth, the German Lutheran and the German Methodist. 
There are now fourteen church edifices in the township, in all 
of which regular worship is maintained. 


The first proprietor of the land on which Somonauk village 
is built was William Mitchell. He sold it in 1844 to Alvarus 
Gage, who may be called the father of the village It was 
the first railroad station established in the County, and, 
although there had previously been a small collection of 
houses there, the people flocked in so rapidly that many were 
obliged to live in tents for the first few months of their stay. 
Mr. Franklin Dale built the first store and the first grain 
warehouse in the place. Mr. Hess built the next one. 

It is now one of the most flourishing villages in the County, 
and has had a rapid growth during the past few years. It 
has nine large brick stores, in which are four dry goods estab- 
lishments, two groceries, one hardware store, one drug store, 
and one furniture warehouse. It also has a steam grist mill, 


or pawpaw 

'■i.'.'-O''. iivi|iJiiiigj-. 1 .ri,i,..-,s., 


a broom factory, a brewery, a livery stable, three grain ware- 
houses, a large agricultural warehouse, a hay pressing estab- 
lishment, and two lumber yards. 

It has seven churches. The Protestant Methodists built 
the first church edifice, the Baptists the next; and to these 
have been added the churches of the Presbyterians, German 
Baptists, German Lutherans, the Catholics, and the Episcopal 

The education of the children of the village is conducted in 
a fine large edifice, divided into four departments, upon the 
"graded" system. 

The village has twice suffered severely by fires, which des- 
troyed a large part of its business buildings ; but the energy 
of its people triumphed over their misfortunes, and it was 
never in a finer or more flourishing condition than at present. 

The township of Somonauk contributed 311 men to the war 
of the rebellion, and raised $27,843 by tax, to meet necessary 
Avar expenses. 

Ten days after the fall of Sumter, a company of Somonauk 
soldiers, under Captain L. II. Carr, was guarding the import- 
ant strategic point of Cairo. It was the first company raised 
in the State, and probably the first in the Union, under the 
first call of the President. It was subsequently incorporated 
in the Tenth regiment. The gallant and honored Captain 
Carr met his death from the bullet of a sharp-shooter, while 
at the siege of Island No. Ten. 

Frederick W. Partridge, a native of Vermont, a lawyer, 
and in 1860 post-master of the place, was chosen Captain of 
the next company raised in the town. It was made a part of 
the Thirteenth Infantry, and with it he fought most gallantly 
through its three years' term of service. He was an accom- 
plished soldier, and a thorough disciplinarian. He was twice 
wounded, rose to the command of the regiment, and was bre- 
vetted Brigadier General; and upon his return, was elected 
to the office of Circuit Clerk and Recorder, — the best office in 
the gift of the County. 


Hon. William Patten, a native of New York, has been one 
of the leading men of Somonauk. He has served three terms 
as member of the State Legislature, and is now Senator of 
this district. He raised and commanded a company in the 
One Hundred and Fifty-Sixth Infantry, during the great 
war, and has ever been prominent in every good word and 
work. Hons. W. TV. Sedgwick, Augustus Adams, S. B. 
Stinson, W. L. Simmons, M. B. Castle, and the Culver bro- 
thers, should also be mentioned as prominent among those 
numerous high toned and honorable men whose intelligence 
and well-directed energies have contributed to the prosperity 
of the place, and of whom it may be said that the town has 
honored itself by placing them forward as its representative 

Colonel Isaac and Captain Karl Rutishauser, of Somonauk, 
soldiers in their native Poland, did gallant service also in the 
war for the preservation of the Union. 

One of the most respected families of Somonauk is that of 
Mr. George Beveridge, who moved to the place from Wash- 
ington County, New York, in 1844. The family are of 
Scotch descent, — sturdy Presbyterians in religious, and 
strongly anti-slavery in political faith. 

In 1852, a gentlemanly stranger begged shelter for the 
night at this house. Something led the family to suspect 
that he was a detective, searching for evidence of their con- 
nection with the crime of aiding slaves to their freedom. 
Finally, seeking an opportunity of privacy, he asked directly 
of the venerable mother if she had not at times secreted fugi- 
tive negroes. "Yes," said she; "and in spite of your op- 
pressive laws, I will do it again whenever I have an oppor- 
tunity." Instead of immediately arresting her, as she had 
expected, the stranger laughed. He was an eminent physi- 
cian of Quincy, engaged in establishing stations on the under- 
oround railroad; and during many subsequent years, there 
was a frequent stoppage of trains at this station, and much 
time and money was spent in forwarding the flying negroes 


on to the Stewards, at Piano, and to other places of refuge. 

Three sons of the family have attained distinction. General 
John L. Beveridge, a lawyer of Sycamore, and subsequently 
of Chicago, served as Major of the Eighth Cavalry and 
Colonel of the Seventeenth, and as Brigadier General in 
command in Missouri. He is now sheriff of Cook County. 
Hon. James II. Beveridge, a merchant at Freeland, was 
elected in 1852 to the office of Circuit Clerk and Recorder, 
which he filled most acceptably for eight years; and in 1864 
he was made State Treasurer. Andrew M. Beveridge has 
attained distinction as an eloquent divine. 

The Supervisors of Somonauk have been: For 1850-51— 
52-53, Lyman Bacon ; 1854-55, William Patten ; 1856-57, 
J. II. Furman; 1858, William Patten; 1850, Hubbard La- 
tham ; 1860, William Patten ; 1861, C. Winne ; 1862, J. H. 
Furman; 1863, E. W. Lewis; 1864, W r illiam Patten; 1865, 
W. W. Sedgwick ; 1866-67-68, W. L. Simmons. 

The village of Sandwich was incorporated in 1859, and as 
Presidents of the Board of Trustees the following men have 
represented its interests upon the Board of Supervisors: In 
1860, Washington Walker ; 1861, George W. Culver ; 1862, 
Washington Walker; 1863, Perley Stone; 1864, W. L. Sim- 
mons;. 1865, J. II. Carr; 1866, George W. Culver; 1867- 
(jS, W. W. Sedgwick. 

The village of Somonauk was incorporated in 1866. Wil- 
liam Brown and William Ileun have represented it upon the 
Board of Supervisors. 

The assessed valuation of the property of the township is 


Shabbona's Grove, twenty-five years ago, was one of the 
finest bodies of timber in the State, containing about fifteen 
hundred acres, well covered with heavy white, burr and black 
oaks, and black walnut. It is situated on the Big Indian 
Creek, and is named after an old Pottawattamie chief, — 
Shabbona, — who at that time, with' his tribe, lived at the 
north end of the grove, where his headquarters, a large, long 
loe house, now stand in a good state of preservation. It was 
surrounded by an immense tract of high, rolling prairie, well 
watered and well drained, — towards the east and south by the 
Somonauk, Little Indian and Big Indian Creeks, into Fox 
River, and towards the north by its tributaries into the Kish- 
waukee. All this country, — now comprised in the towns of 
Shabbona and Clinton, — was then called Shabbona's Grove. 
On account of the excellence of the land, its dry and healthy 
location, and the quality of the timber in the grove, it was 
very attractive to the early emigrants; and the settlement 
increased and flourished, outstripping other localities more 
conveniently situated. 

After the railroads were built, — which, preferring on ac- 
count of speculation the wide, unsettled prairies, were located 
on either side of our dividing ridge, — emigration tended 
towards either line of road, emigrants preferring convenience 
to market, and cheaper lands to this naturally more desirable 

Eighteen years ago, almost every resident of Chicago could 
tell you where Shabbona's Grove was, and all about it; now, 
scarcely a citizen knows that there is such a place on the face 
of the earth. 


In another chapter will be found a brief history of the 
honest and kindly old chief who has given name to this grove 
and this town, and whose manly and generous treatment of 
the whites entitles him to lasting remembrance; and also of 
his band of Indians, who, within the memory of men yet 
young, were living here in patriarchal style, — these groves 
their towns, and these vast prairies their fields; the one fur- 
nishing them shelter and fuel, the other food from the chase. 

In the treaty made at Prairie DuChien,in 182i>, — by which 
the Pottawattomies ceded this section of country to the United 
States, — two sections of land at this grove were made a reser- 
vation to Shabeney. In another treaty, made at Tippecanoe, 
Indiana, in October, 1832, these lands were again reserved 
to Shabonier, — a French method of spelling the same name. 
In a third treaty, made in September, 1833, it is provided 
that these lands reserved shall be grants in fee simple, which 
might be sold and conveyed by the recipient, — a privilege 
which he had not before possessed; but in the following year 
this provision of the treaty was rejected by the Senate, leaving 
them, as before, simple reservations. 

This fact becomes important, as explaining the difficulty in 
the titles to these lands, which has caused a vast deal of per- 
plexity and loss to those of the white settlers whose title to 
the grove came through the old chief. 

In 1845 Old Shabbona, ignorant of the repeal of that pro- 
vision of the treaty which gave him a right to sell his land, 
sold to Azell A. Gates and Orrin Gates his entire reservation. 
This was speedily divided into tracts, and re-sold by the Gatea 
to the inhabitants of the adjoining prairies. 

But three years later, these purchasers were astonished at 
finding that these lands were offered for sale by the United 
States government, as were the adjoining prairies. An in- 
vestigation, made through lion. John Wentworth, then 
member of Congress for this district, disclosed the fact that 
the deed of Shabbona to the Gates was void; and that the 
government held that, as Shabbona, by transferring and giv- 


ing up possession, had forfeited the use of the reservation, it 
was competent for the government to sell it as other public 
lands in this department were sold. 

Nothing remained for the purchasers to do but to purchase 
the lands again of government. But they were now worth 
twenty, — perhaps forty, times the government entry price, 
and it was supposed that upon their being offered at auction 
the price would be raised by speculators to rates which they 
could not afford to pay. To provide for this emergency, the 
purchasers met in council, selected William Marks and Reu- 
ben Allen, two of their most respected fellow-townsmen, to 
bid in the land at the minimum rate of $1.25 an acre, and, 
arming themselves with clubs and pistols, they went, an army 
of one hundred and fifty determined men, fully resolved to 
prevent (by force if necessary) all others from bidding upon 
the lands. 

Arrived at Dixon, they found a number of men prepared 
to purchase their lands, and they arranged to seize any such 
bidder, and drown him in Rock River. Their resolute aspect 
overawed all opposition, and they secured their lands at the 
minimum rate. 

They had almost forgotten their difficulties with their titles 
when, in 1864, they were again alarmed by notice from a 
lawyer of Chicago that he was about to proceed to secure the 
title to the lands for the heirs of Shabbona, upon the ground 
that the government had wrongfully dispossessed him, that 
he had not forfeited his use of the reservation, that his heirs 
still held title to the property, and that it was made a grant 
in fee simple, by an act of Congress passed as late as March 
9th, 1848. 

The owners of these lands now placed the matter in charge 
of Mr. C. W. Marsh, who visited Washington, and made a 
thorough examination of the question of title; and from his 
elaborate report, made to a meeting of settlers upon his re- 
turn, the foregoing facts are obtained. 

Following this ventilation of the subject, the attempt of the 


Chicago lawyer to force the purchasers to pay a third time 
for their lands was abandoned; but the question of the secur- 
ity of the title is one upon which lawyers still disagree. 

Shabbona and his twenty or thirty immediate descendants 
occasionally returned, and lived at intervals upon his reserva- 
tion, but did not make a permanent residence there till 1844. 
New-Year's Day of 1836 was celebrated at Shabbona 
Grove by the erection of the first white man's dwelling at 
this place. Mr. Edmund Town and David Smith, the first 
white inhabitants, who had lived for a few weeks in the wig- 
wams which the Indians had abandoned for awhile, assisted 
by Mr. Russell Town, the first resident of PawPaw Grove, 
rolled up the logs, and speedily enclosed a dwelling, celebrat- 
ing the event with some bottles of liquor, which the Indians 
had left hidden in a tree near by. 

In the following year came Messrs. William, Lewis, and 
Colman Olmstead, Darius Horton, William Lyman, and Jef- 
ferson Sturtevant, who made extended claims and erected for 
themselves comfortable log dwellings and stables. The In- 
dians, when not abroad upon their rovirg excursions, lived 
by their side in perfect peace and good fellowship. The 
children of the white families were numerous, and in 1842 
two school houses were built at the grove for their instruction. 
In 1845, the population had been increased by the immi- 
gration of the families of Mr. June Baxter, William Marks, 
Peter Miller, and William White. They were an honest and 
law-abiding population, and struggled courageously with the 
poverty and many hardships which were common to all the 
inhabitants at this early day. The deer in the neighboring 
groves and prairies furnished them with a considerable supply 
of venison, and from their skins they made durable garments. 
Prairie fowls, which were then vastly more numerous than 
now, together with sand-hill cranes, swans, ducks, and geese, 
contributed liberally to the supply of their tables. The In- 
dians living near them baked these fowls in the ashes, or 
boiled them in their kettles, with entrails, claws and feathers; 


then, tearing them in pieces, devoured them like beasts. The 
sight of Sibiqua, Shabbona's pretty daughter, and the belle 
of the settlement, engaged in this kind of a repast, destroyed 
all the charms of her personal beauty, and it is not strange 
that the current report, that Shabbona would give a bushel 
of dollars to any good white man who would marry her, should 
not overcome their repugnance to a bride with such personal 
habits; but Jjeaubien, a Frenchman near Chicago, married 
one of the daughters, and to her home Shabbona made annual 

In 1847, Shabbona returned from a journey to Washington, 
elegantly dressed, but sad and discouraged. He had sold 
and lost his home, and the soil in which the bones of his fathers 
were interred had become the property of strangers. Their 
burial place may yet be seen where they holloAved out shallow 
graves, covering the bodies with earth and poles, bound down 
to prevent the ravages of the wolves. Shabbona Grove is 
the natural center for the trade of a large extent of fertile 
country, and would, undoubtedly, have been a prominent village 
but that the railroads were built some fifteen miles north and 
south of it, and drew population in that direction. But, the 
railroads, — built in 1851 and 1853, gave value to the lands, 
and raised the people from the poverty which had hitherto 
repressed their energies. The prairie lands were all entered 
and enclosed as farms ; and there is now no section of the 
County more handsomely improved, or betokening a more 
substantial and comfortable condition of its farming popula- 
tion than the township of Shabbona. There is a small vil- 
lage at the south end of the grove with two churches, three 
stores, two tavern, the usual shops, and a handsome Masonic 
hall, which was built in 1862. The Lodge of Masons was 
organized in 1862 with M. V. Allen as W. M. ; G. M. Alex- 
ander, S. W.; L. Marks, J. W.: T. S. Terry, Secretary; 
W. Marks, Jr., S. D. ; A. S. Jackson, J. D. ; Isaac Morse, 
Tyler. It has now fifty-four members. 

Shabbona furnished one hundred and thirty-seven men for 


the great war, and raised $12,291 for war expenses. A large 
number of thefee went under the gallant Captain G. W. Kil- 
lett in the Fifty-eighth, and Captain Thomas S. Terry of the 
One Hundred and Fifth. Captain Terry was for many years 
a prominent citizen of the town. He was its Supervisor for 
three years, and represented the County in the Legislature in 
1860. He died in the service at North ville, February 15th, 

1863. Captain Marvin V. Allen, who succeeded him, lost an 
arm in the service. Upon his return he was elected to the 
responsible office of County Superintendent of schools. Ser- 
geant Thomas E. Taylor, of the same company, a native of 
Scotland, lost his life in the service at the age of forty-one. 

D. W. Jackson, of the same company, a native of Sche- 
nectady, New York, gave his life to his country at Bowling 
Green, Kentucky, at the age of twenty. 

Sergeant J. M. Dobbin, of Company E, Thirteenth Infan- 
try, a native of Washington County, New York, died of 
wounds received at the assault on Vicksburg, December 28th, 
1862, aged thirty-eight. 

Sergeant George C. Harper served most honorably for 
three years in the One Hundred and Fifth, and subsequently 
lost his life at Fort Harper while in the Seventh Regulars ; 
aged twenty-three. 

John McFarland, of Company E, One Hundred and Fifth 
Infantry, a native of Cayuga County, New York, died at 
Frankfort, Kentucky, October 26th, 1862, aged forty-three. 
Henry Davis, of the Tenth Infantry, a native of Chataqua 
County, New York, died at St. Louis, May 5th, 1862, at 
twenty-one years of age. Oliver Pattee, of Company H, 
Fifty-second Infantry, a native of Grafton, New Hampshire, 
died at St. Joseph, December 20th 1861. Lyman Kilbourn, 
of Company E, One Hundred and Fifth, a native of Kane 
County, Illinois, died at Resaca, Georgia, April 16th, 1862, 
aged twenty-four. 

Corporal Philip Howe, of Company E, One Hundred and 
Fifth, died of wounds received at Resaca, Georgia, May 9th, 

1864, aged twenty-seven. 


Sergeant W. E. Grover, of Company E, One Hundred and 
Fifth, a native of New Gloucester, Maine, was killed at Dal- 
las, Georgia, while bearing off a wounded comrade from the 
skirmish line. His age was forty years. 

In 1855 the population of Shabbona was 966 ; in 1860, 
963; in 1865, 1165. 

Her Supervisors have been, for 1850, William Marks ; 
1851 and '52, Isaac T. Comstock ; 1853, '54, '55 and '56, 
Thomas S. Terry ; 1857, Harvey E. Allen ; 1858, '59 and 
60, D. D. Stevens ; 1861, David Norton ; 1862 and '63, P. 
V. Quilhot; 1864, '65, '66, '67 and '68, Frederick Ball. 

(The following was accidentally omitted from its place, for the body 
of the work.) 

From the history of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry Volunteers. 


Colonels, John B. Wyman, Adam B. Gorgas. 
Lieutenant-Colonels, B. F. Parks, A. B. Gorgas. F. W. Partridge. 
Majors, F. W. Partridge. D. R, Bushnell, J. M. Beardsley. 


Captains, F, W. Partridge, A. J. Brinkerhoff, George H. Carpenter. 

First Lieutenants, A. J. Brinkerhoff, George E. Devoll, G. IT. Carpenter, 
William Wallace. 

Second Lieutenants, George H. Devoll, II. T.Porter, George H. Carpen- 
ter, William Wallace, B. F. Gilford. 


Captains, Z. B. Mayo, E. F. Button, R. A. Smith, A. A. Buck. 

First Lieutenants, E. F. Button, R. A. Smith, A. A. Buck, Theodore 

Second Lieutenants, R. A. Smith, A. A. Buck, Theodore Loring. 

(The following sketch should have appeared in the History of Malta :) 
Among those from Malta who gave their lives in defence of their 
country, was Orderly Sergeant Edward Bridge, an intelligent, exem- 
plary and patriotic young soldier of Company B, Fifty-fifth Illinois. 
He was severely wounded at Shiloh, but recovered and lived to fight 
the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Haines' Bluff, Cham- 
pion Hills, Black River, Vicksburg and Jackson, winning the highest 
commendation in his relation as a soldier and as a man, but he died of 
pneumonia at Larkinsville, Alabama, January 11th, 1864. Aged 21. 


3 1516 00016 2667 





History of DeKalb 
County, Illinois 





History of DeKalb 
County, Illinois 

.. . 

Dixon, IL 61021